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Home U.S Analysis: Andrew Cuomo's chances of staying in office just went *way* down

Analysis: Andrew Cuomo’s chances of staying in office just went *way* down

Those calling for Cuomo to step aside ranged from influential liberals like Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jamaal Bowman to high-ranking and long-serving members like Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler and Oversight and Reform Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney.

It amounted to an across-the-board rejection of Cuomo’s insistence that no one should reach a final judgment about the allegations against him until an independent investigation, being overseen by New York Attorney General Letitia James, releases its conclusion. (There’s no timetable for that.)
For Cuomo, the series of resignation calls come after another disastrous week for him. On Thursday, more than 50 Democratic state legislators called on the governor to step aside, saying that he had “lost the confidence of the public” and is “ineffective in this time of most urgent need.” Also on Thursday, the New York State Assembly approved of an investigation into the allegations against Cuomo by the body’s judiciary committee.
Cuomo is fighting battles on multiple fronts.
According to a report from James, Cuomo’s administration underreported the number of Covid-19 deaths among nursing home and long-term care residents — and also delayed sharing potentially damaging information regarding the number of deaths among that vulnerable community with state lawmakers.

Cuomo and his administration defended their decision, arguing that with both the Justice Department and New York state lawmakers asking questions, the federal inquiry became their priority. The governor has denied any suggestion or wrongdoing.

He is also facing allegations from multiple women of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior. Those accusations began in late February when a former aide alleged in a Medium post that Cuomo kissed her on the lips against her will in 2018 after a short meeting in his New York City office.

In a press conference last week, Cuomo apologized to all of the women making accusations, explaining that he never realized he “was making anyone feel uncomfortable.” He also denied touching anyone inappropriately.

Since the series of controversies began, Cuomo has been repeatedly asked about whether he would resign. And he has repeatedly rejected the idea.

“There is no way I resign,” Cuomo said last weekend. Of the politicians calling for him to do so, Cuomo shot back “there is politics in politics,” adding: “I have political differences with people … they don’t override people’s will. They don’t override elections.”

It’s not immediately clear whether the series of resignation calls on Friday will change Cuomo’s personal views on resignation. But that may not matter. The reality is that large numbers of elected officials — from across the ideological spectrum — are now public with their calls for the governor to step aside. And it’s hard to see that number not growing larger in the coming days given the dam breaking that happened among the New York delegation on Friday.

All of which means that the public pressure on him to leave, which was at sort of a medium boil this week, is going to be massive heading into the weekend and early next week.

To be clear: Simply because a bunch of Democratic elected officials are calling for Cuomo to resign doesn’t mean much, logistically speaking. In order to remove him from office, Cuomo would have to be impeached by the state legislature. And we’re not there yet.

But the momentum here is all against Cuomo. His ability to stall and/or run out the clock until public attention and interest has moved on has dropped remarkably with the announcements on Thursday and Friday.

Put simply: His chances of surviving politically until he is up for a fourth term next November just dropped. Significantly.

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