What’s Going to Happen to Andrew Cuomo?
In March, Andrew Cuomo was at the top of the political world, his response in New York was lauded by the Democrats as excellent, and many thought that he had a future in federal politics. However, since, almost a dozen women have come forward, accusing him of sexual harassment in the workplace, and a recent report by the Attorney General confirms their reports. What does it mean for his future in politics?
In a video statement later in the day, Cuomo denied the allegations, but the report did not stop New York lawmakers to call for him to step down. Indeed, he is now under more pressure to resign than ever, as Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi have now called for his resignation. On Wednesday morning, Marist College released its poll, revealing that almost sixty percent of New Yorkers wanted Cuomo to resign, and the same amount wanted the state legislature to proceed with impeachment if he refuses to do so. With even the President of the United States, notably the leader of Cuomo’s party, saying that Cuomo should resign, his fate is hardly in question.
Andrew Cuomo’s Allegations
Several women came forward months ago, just as Andrew Cuomo’s national fame peaked because of his handling of the coronavirus. After delegating the investigation to Attorney General Letitia James, a report on Tuesday found specific, documented encounters of Cuomo’s sexual harassment. There has since been a Democratic consensus within the state of New York, including both of the Senators and the vast majority of the representatives, that he should resign and be replaced by the 62-year-old Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul.
However, Cuomo continues to deny the allegation and seems to be fundraising for a fourth term in 2022, and no other Democrats have yet stepped up to challenge him. Notably, Ralph Northam, the governor of Virginia, put his blackface incident behind him and has regained his popularity prior to the scandal; Cuomo obviously hopes to do the same. Regardless, sexual assault has been shown to both destroy politicians’ careers and do nothing at all. What has changed?
What This Will Do for His Political Future
The consensus for Cuomo’s resignation comes at a time when sexual assault has become a buzzword in American politics. Prior to 1980s or so, notably with presidents like John F. Kennedy, the private lives of politicians were largely left out of the picture, partly because politicians had a much stronger control over what the press said and wrote. But that’s not the case today.
One Gallup poll in 1998 found that 50 percent of Americans thought that sexual harassment was a major problem, and in 2017, that poll had risen to 69 percent. Among Democrats, that number is even higher, as 80 percent believe sexual harassment is a major problem. It makes it hard for any politician accused of sexual assault to gain any traction with voters, especially on the left wing.
Cuomo certainly hopes that his post as Governor can survive, even when the large part of his voters and party believe that it should not. His predicament is made even harder by the allegations that his administration covered up a number of COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes during the start of the pandemic. But it may not be up to him. According to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, James’s report has been referred to the committee in charge of impeachment, possibly hinting that proceedings are not too far off. And that doesn’t spell good news for his attempts to revive his reputation.