“I Don’t Think He Has the Capacity to Do Anything Differently”: Andrew Cuomo’s Political Career Ends (Maybe) With a Whimper

New York governor Andrew Cuomo was reeling. The state’s lawyer basic, Letitia James, had launched the outcomes of an almost five-month-long investigation into accusations of sexual harassment towards him sooner than anticipated, catching the governor off guard. Worse, the outcomes have been damning: A 168-page report, assembled from interviews with 179 witnesses, described Cuomo’s offensive habits with 11 girls, together with a state trooper assigned to his safety element. So the governor and prime staffers met to craft a response—but additionally to vent their anger that Cuomo was the one who had been wronged. “The tone was, ‘I can’t imagine Tish did this to us. She stabbed us within the again. It’s so unfair!’” a Cuomo affiliate who was advised of the dialogue says, nonetheless incredulous three weeks later. “The king of backstabbing complaining about an lawyer basic undermining folks? Let’s review when Cuomo was A.G.—what occurred to Eliot Spitzer and David Paterson? It’s a complete lack of self-awareness.”

Cuomo’s 10 years and (nearly) eight months in workplace ended at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, after he determined to resign quite than combat an anticipated impeachment by New York’s state legislature. It was the abrupt and ugly conclusion (possibly) of an incomparable four-and-a-half-decade political profession. Starting at 19, along with his work as an aggressive aide on his father’s shedding 1977 marketing campaign for mayor of New York Metropolis; persevering with because the supervisor of Mario Cuomo’s first profitable marketing campaign for governor and a prime adviser on the opposite two, and as Mario’s enforcer and righthand man throughout most of these three phrases; and together with each a detour to Washington as HUD secretary beneath President Invoice Clinton and his personal disastrous first run for governor in 2002, adopted by a comeback win in a 2006 run for state lawyer basic, Cuomo has been a political animal his complete grownup life. Nobody had ever arrived within the governor’s workplace with larger preparation.

How he deployed that information and his abilities is what made Cuomo so fascinating and, in the end, irritating. The psychodrama along with his father—particularly, Cuomo’s perception that Mario’s political profession was gravely wounded by the unrealistic expectations of liberal Democrats, and what he seen as Mario’s choice for political poetry over cold-blooded dealmaking—was an enormous affect on Cuomo’s dedication to be a centrist, no less than by New York’s requirements. Cuomo may very well be charming and nuanced; nobody had a deeper understanding of the complicated internet of relationships and egos in state politics. “There’s no query that he was able to super political dexterity,” says Howard Wolfson, who handled Cuomo as a deputy mayor beneath Michael Bloomberg. “When he was at his greatest, he had an actual LBJ-style capacity to chop offers and create alliances and transfer laws by means of the method. However for him to succeed, was it essential to create the form of tradition that he did—the bullying and the toxicity?” 

Cuomo was usually proper that to get issues finished in state authorities—notably the wildly dysfunctional Albany he inherited in 2011—it was higher to be feared than cherished. However his Machiavellian combine got here out on the darkish facet too usually. “He has run the identical play time and again,” a Democratic strategist who has identified the governor for years says. “There’s just one factor that motivates Andrew Cuomo: energy, the fixed projection of energy, and nothing else. It’s not about cash. And even this latest stuff, it’s not about intercourse, really—it’s about how he holds energy over folks.”

There was no extra vociferous critic of Cuomo than Democratic state senator Alessandra Biaggi, on every little thing from coverage to political ways. But even Biaggi says she has sympathy, to a level, for Cuomo. “He’s unfit to steer the state,” Biaggi says, “however I do really feel sorry for him. It’s very tragic to me to have any individual with this a lot expertise, this a lot ability, this a lot alternative, this a lot benefit—to take all of it and simply waste it. What might have been if he was only a respectable, moral one who didn’t have this obsession with controlling different folks?”

Cuomo stays way more standard with state voters than he does with the state’s media class, and his staff can level to an extended listing of the administration’s accomplishments, from tighter gun legal guidelines to rebuilt airports to marriage equality. All of which is gas for the governor’s persevering with argument that he was introduced down by politics, James needs his job, and her conclusions have been biased and preordained. Nevertheless it wasn’t politics that made Cuomo put his fingers on that state trooper.

Did it have to finish this fashion? Was Cuomo’s bruising, manipulative model going to sink him finally, or did he squander his items and blow his likelihood? “Nicely, ‘squander’ means that he had a selection,” says Kathy Wylde. She is president of the Partnership for New York Metropolis, a formidable group of enterprise pursuits that gave Cuomo necessary assist for many of his time in workplace. Wylde’s historical past with Cuomo stretches again significantly longer. “I’ve identified him since he was 20, and he simply has no perspective, no actual self-perception. When he hits a brick wall, he stops. However nothing else stops him. I don’t assume he has the capability to do something in another way.”

Three years in the past I spent an extended afternoon sitting in Cuomo’s Midtown workplace. By that time he had already earned a tall pile of political enemies. Nonetheless, he was cruising towards reelection. At one level the dialog turned as to whether Cuomo might outdistance his father by profitable a fourth time period in 2022—and his ambition to go down as the best governor in New York’s historical past. He’s taking place, all proper—far sooner and extra ignominiously than he had deliberate.

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https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2021/08/andrew-cuomo-political-career-ends-maybe-with-a-whimper | “I Don’t Assume He Has the Capability to Do Something In a different way”: Andrew Cuomo’s Political Profession Ends (Possibly) With a Whimper


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