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Opinion

Opinion | Can Andrew Cuomo Proceed to Lead?

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Few political households have had extra of an influence on New York politics than the Cuomos. Father and firstborn son each had public service woven deep of their DNA, and each developed a fame for toughness in service of the frequent good and their very own political ambitions.

Once we endorsed Andrew Cuomo for one more time period as governor in 2018, we famous that he was “strategic and at instances bullying in his use of energy, pushed and maddeningly evasive.” Supporters and critics, we wrote, agree that Mr. Cuomo is “a formidable political animal.”

There’s a lot Mr. Cuomo may be happy with. The governor used his appreciable political abilities to nice impact. He persuaded the State Legislature to legalize same-sex marriage, cross sturdy gun-control laws and lift the minimal wage, and he noticed New York by way of a number of crises, from Superstorm Sandy in 2012 to the coronavirus pandemic. Few folks perceive methods to make authorities work as Mr. Cuomo does.

However these traits translated right into a ruthlessness and energy that Mr. Cuomo failed to manage. A number of feminine staffers have come ahead with accounts of sexual misconduct and harassment. These allegations are beneath investigation by New York Legal professional Basic Letitia James and the State Meeting. Mr. Cuomo says he’s assured that investigations will clear his title.

Undergirding these particular accusations is the widespread description of his administration by many former aides as a poisonous office wherein Mr. Cuomo and others dominated by concern and emotional abuse — and drew girls whom Mr. Cuomo noticed as enticing nearer into his orbit, actively encouraging them to put on heels and gown in tightfitting clothes every time he was round. In New York politics, Mr. Cuomo’s bullying fashion was an open secret. However the public caught solely a glimpse of the risks of Mr. Cuomo’s conduct not too long ago.

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It’s all the time preferable to let official investigations run their course, to determine proof from accusation. If crimes have been dedicated, they need to be pretty adjudicated. However the query of the governor’s continued health for workplace is about greater than a felony matter, with completely different requirements.

The fact is that Mr. Cuomo has now misplaced the help of his social gathering and his governing companions. The Democrats who management the State Legislature seem keen to question him, to say nothing of the Republicans. New York’s congressional delegation and metropolis leaders, key to his base, have referred to as on him to resign.

Voters, who returned him simply to workplace, won’t have their say till the following election, ought to he resolve to run for re-election.

The governor has jeopardized the general public’s belief on the worst attainable second. The state is going through the arduous and pressing activity of vaccinating hundreds of thousands of individuals and recovering from a pandemic that has killed almost 50,000 of its residents, sickened lots of of hundreds extra and devastated the financial system.

Mr. Cuomo, unsurprisingly to anybody who is aware of him, dismissed calls to step down and railed in opposition to what he referred to as “cancel tradition.” Requested whether or not he had a consensual relationship with any of the ladies who’ve come ahead, Mr. Cuomo dodged: “I’ve not had a sexual relationship that was inappropriate. Interval.”

What the governor failed to understand throughout his information convention on Friday was that he owes the general public a much more strong rationalization for the slew of credible harassment complaints in opposition to him, in addition to an articulation of why the general public ought to give him its belief.

At this level, it’s arduous to see how Mr. Cuomo can proceed to do the general public’s essential enterprise with out political allies or public confidence.

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