“One is the Loneliest Number.” – Harry Nilsson
It was a 14-minute hostage video in which Andrew Cuomo was both captive and captor.
Responding to a devastating report overseen by state Attorney Letitia James that concluded the governor is a serial sexual harasser, Cuomo released an awkward pre-recorded response that didn’t even address new allegations from a state trooper who had been on his security detail.
Invoking an unnamed family member who was the victim of sexual harassment as well as his late father, Cuomo’s remarks ran through a gamut of emotions, but the central theme to it all was simple: none of this ever really happened.
The conclusion of Tuesday’s report was exactly the opposite: it’s all true and here are the receipts. In an appendix, there’s also plenty of hardball evidence offered that makes members of Team Cuomo look like they’re channeling the spirit of Richard Nixon and his plumbers, looking to sully the reputation of the governor’s first accuser, Lindsey Boylan, by releasing her personnel files through the media.
From Boylan to Charlotte Bennett to the unnamed trooper to eight other women, are they all lying? What’s the grand conspiracy linking them together in speaking out against the governor? And if it’s a binary choice of truth: What do they all have to gain from lying compared to what Andrew Cuomo stands to lose?
After President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on Cuomo to step down, there’s no one really left in the Democratic establishment to tell the governor to resign. Perhaps the only politician who Andrew Cuomo would sometimes listen to, Mario Cuomo, is gone.
State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, who previously seemed positively lukewarm about impeaching the governor, was revving up his engines last night in the wake of a meeting with his fellow Democrats, making it sound like the removal process could be expedited.
Appearing on “Inside City Hall” on Tuesday night, Brooklyn Democratic leader Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn said she no longer needed to wait and see.
“We’ve seen enough,’’ the assemblywoman told NY1 political anchor Errol Louis.
Forcing the Assembly to impeach him and then face a Senate trial seems like a churlish choice for Cuomo. With the state facing a pandemic and a surge in crime, does it serve anyone’s interest – besides perhaps Cuomo’s – in going through the motions of a trial that will almost certainly end badly for the governor and distract the rest of the state?
Even Cuomo’s running mate, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, issued a statement condemning his “repulsive and unlawful behavior,” stopping just short of calling for him to resign. Et tu, Kathy?
At least for now, Cuomo is still turning the pages in his political choose-your-own-adventure book, but all of the endings are bad.
There’s no one left to tell Andrew Cuomo that making a 14-minute hostage video was an unwise idea. Free Andrew Cuomo.