Politics Andrew Cuomo: The rise and the reckoning
'Cuomo is an abuser': NY Assemblyman Ron Kim alleges governor threatened him
New York Assemblyman Ron Kim detailed his allegedly threatening phone call with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo after speaking out about COVID-related nursing home deaths. FBI and federal prosecutors in Brooklyn are investigating Cuomo's coronavirus task force with a particular focus on his administration's handling of nursing homes early in the coronavirus pandemic, two sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.
It's like a slow-motion car crash where the unthinkable becomes the inevitable. Welcome to the saga of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, scion of street-seasoned champion, a Democratic icon long known for achievements and . Instead of following his dad's rise to the top, Andrew is now hurtling for a reckoning he can neither control nor stop.
This is no random accident - but rather one long in the making, with devastating collateral impact.
As the allegations against Cuomo escalate, we're left feeling as if this is not accidental misfortune but personal and purposeful.
The swift rise and disastrous fall of Andrew Cuomo, America's wannabe Covid hero
Democrats need to reckon with the record of politicians on both sides of the aisle who have used Trump, the pandemic, or both to elevate their profile.Cuomo became a hero to Democrats across the country last spring, his stature on par with President Barack Obama, with live-streamed daily press briefings that projected steely resolve and paternal authority in the face of a deadly menace. The New York Times’ media columnist Ben Smith called him “the executive best suited to the coronavirus.” As the 2020 Democratic presidential primary dragged on, buzz circulated that Cuomo would be a better candidate than Biden.
The core allegations:
- The Governor made a massive and fatal mistake, moving COVID- into nursing homes, then how many seniors died because of it. After Cuomo bragged in a that New York's COVID-related deaths were among the nation's lowest, the state's the death total in nursing homes was up to 50 percent higher than Cuomo reported, making the carnage . His : "Who cares [if they] died in the hospital, died in a nursing home? They died."
- Cuomo and his team, fearing the worst, covered this up for more than six months - until a and members of his own Party demanded answers. The answer came when the Governor's right-hand confidante, , admitted on a that they hid the data, knowing the truth would not set them free but set them up for political execution. Her : "We froze" - worried it could "be used against us" by investigators. Thousands of people needlessly die, and they're concerned about how this may sully their image?
- Cuomo, feeling cornered by a growing scandal, a Democratic Assemblyman from Queens, , to clam up or else. Kim said Cuomo, apparently loud enough to wake the dead (for whom he was responsible), told Kim he'd not yet seen Cuomo's wrath - "I will destroy you." Despite reported , several Democrats in the Assembly moved to Cuomo of emergency COVID powers.
- A high-ranking claims Cuomo harassed her with lecherous kissing, unwanted touching, an invitation that she play with him on a private flight. The accuser went one step further, saying other women were being abused, bullied into submission, silence, or both. Team Cuomo's response: It . Now a Cuomo aide has stepped forward with a similarly , suggesting Cuomo's lecherous conduct with subordinate women is not isolated but rather a pattern of conscious behavior.
Threatening. Deceiving. Harassing. Bullying. This is a Greek tragedy with an Italian surname. So where did this all come from? How could COVID's "briefer in chief," one of thealive, and three-term governor, fall so quickly - and so publicly?
‘Hard to see the path out’: Cuomo besieged as crises grow
"It appears he's earned himself a primary," said New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.Now, two months later, he’s embroiled in two major scandals and facing a daily onslaught of questions about deaths in nursing homes, accusations of sexual impropriety and growing speculation that his political career may be in jeopardy.
The answers may lie as much in a centuries-old classic about war, as they do the Cuomo family picture album.
Start with family. Raised in a gritty middle class Italian family who owned a small neighborhood, Andrew Cuomo's ambition soared in parallel to his father's. In short order, Andrew became Mario Cuomo's chief , and became obsessed with settling scores. It required hurting others' feelings as much as soothing them.
Yet for someone once described as a(one who dislikes humankind), Cuomo never allowed the burden of regret to slow him down. Instead, he was empowered by it, convinced that winning always necessitates some level of collateral damage.
In this regard, New York's three-term Governor is a living embodiment of5th Century B.C. paean to leadership, making the allegations against him fully predictable. As one who liked to "crunch his enemies," Cuomo has taken nearly every Tzu lesson to heart by ignoring his own. Here are four:
CNN has a Cuomo problem
CNN has a problem, and its surname is “Cuomo.” © Provided by Washington Examiner The cable network broke a key rule of ethical journalism last year, during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, when it allowed news anchor Chris Cuomo to make his older brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a regular fixture on his prime time show. It was bad enough that the network allowed Cuomo to host his powerful sibling.
- Win quickly and declare it quickly - Cuomo proclaimed New York had COVID last fall; then the second surge hit.
- Use flexibility to control changing circumstance - blame the GOP, Trump, anyone to outflank any truth that threatens the leader.
- Inspire the troops by regaling them - driven by media adulation, and outsized ego, Cuomo scored a for his news conference performances while hiding the truth about what he had done to cost New Yorkers their lives.
- Finesse the strong and crush the weak - that's been Andrew Cuomo's playbook from day one; just ask Ron Kim, or Lindsey Boylan, or the who resigned.
So can Andrew Cuomo survive all this, his past, his present, and invariably his future? Can a leader driven to win at all costs, who's creating enemies at a clip eclipsing, who has a "prove it if you can" attitude about the allegations - a la - weather this storm to ascend again, win again, lead again?
Given the lives he's ruined and the damage he's caused, why would anyone be rooting for that?
Donald Trump Jr. Calls for Cuomo to Lose Book Deal, Says Apply Cancel Culture 'Equally'
"Simon & Schuster cancelled their contract with Josh Hawley, but Crown is going to stick by a credibly accused serial sexual harasser just because he's a Democrat?" the ex-president's son said."With everything that is coming to light, when will @CrownPublishing be canceling @andrewcuomo's contract?" Trump Jr. tweeted Monday night.
, a national Republican media strategist and columnist, is the first Edward R. Murrow senior fellow at Tufts University's Fletcher School. Follow him on Twitter
Andrew Cuomo: New York state senate majority leader joins growing Democratic calls for the New York governor to resign .
The walls are closing in on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. © Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 2: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo holds a news conference at the National Press Club May 27, 2020 in Washington, DC. Following a closed-door meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House, Cuomo leveled criticism at Republican senators and other politicians that he said want to limit federal aid for New York to combat and recover from the coronavirus pandemic.