Cuomo Offers Half-Apology While Sinking
Cuomo Offers Half-Apology While Sinking
Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-Grandma Killer) is seeing his political career slowly sink beneath the waves like the Titanic. The iceberg was his own ego.
Once considered untouchable and unsinkable, especially when propped up by the media as the anti-Trump, Cuomo is now collapsing under the weight of his own arrogance and power. Signing the proverbial death warrant for thousands of seniors was horrific, and even New York Democrats wanted answers about the cooked books and cover-up of the nursing home numbers. But then Lindsey Boylan stepped forward to tell her story, and more Democrats were forced to pay attention. The Cuomo machine sprang into action, trying to deflect away from Boylan’s story.
Well, it seems that Boylan coming forward was just the first leak in the dam. Now, Charlotte Bennett, a former aide to Cuomo, has also come forward with her story.
The aide, Charlotte Bennett, who was an executive assistant and health policy adviser in the Cuomo administration until she left in November, told The New York Times that the governor had harassed her late last spring, during the height of the state’s fight against the coronavirus.”
Ms. Bennett, 25, said the most unsettling episode occurred on June 5, when she was alone with Mr. Cuomo in his State Capitol office. In a series of interviews this week, she said the governor had asked her numerous questions about her personal life, including whether she thought age made a difference in romantic relationships, and had said that he was open to relationships with women in their 20s — comments she interpreted as clear overtures to a sexual relationship.”
Mr. Cuomo said in a statement to The Times on Saturday that he believed he had been acting as a mentor and had “never made advances toward Ms. Bennett, nor did I ever intend to act in any way that was inappropriate.” He said he had requested an independent review of the matter and asked that New Yorkers await the findings “before making any judgments.”
But there was a big huge problem with the governor’s request for an “independent review.” It seems that Cuomo had someone already picked out to conduct the review. How convenient!
These taken together… https://t.co/hsAgJTzJmm
— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) February 28, 2021
It appears that Bennett’s allegation, along with the “okay we can have a friendly former judge handle the investigation into ME” was something of a last straw among New York Democrats. Names like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Jerry Nadler, and Kirsten Gillibrand all issued statements saying that the power of investigation rested in the New York state attorney general’s office, not in a handpicked crony. New York state legislators were even more horrified, with some calling for Cuomo to resign.
The outcry over the allegations and the issue of an independent investigation got so loud that Jen Psaki, Biden press secretary and professional circle juggler, got pressed on CNN by Dana Bash on the White House’s response to the allegations. And Psaki, as usual, had to fall back on mouthing platitudes.
Perhaps a call went from the White House to Albany at this point to say “back off and take your punishment,” because Team Cuomo suddenly had a change of heart.
NEW: in response to outcry, Cuomo’s office changes course & asks @NewYorkStateAG & NY Chief Judge “to jointly select an independent and qualified lawyer in private practice without political affiliation to conduct a thorough review of the matter and issue a public report.” Full: pic.twitter.com/3bJZXwmPG3
— Ben Max (@TweetBenMax) February 28, 2021
It’s probably no surprise that they had a change of heart just before state attorney general Letitia James’s office issued a statement saying that she should be able to run this investigation however she sees fit. And James, who clearly has her eye on the governor’s mansion, was not willing to settle for anything but complete control of the investigation. Backed into a corner, Cuomo’s office had to concede to the Attorney General.
Still, the chorus of voices were getting louder in Albany about not just the investigation, but resignation. So Cuomo decided to release a statement, and it sounds like it got laundered through starch, bleach, and three lawyers before hitting the “send” button.
BREAKING: Andrew Cuomo issues a new statement.
"I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation. To the extent anyone felt that way, I am truly sorry about that." pic.twitter.com/Nxg0HLHDfL
— Jon Campbell (@JonCampbellGAN) February 28, 2021
So, we are supposed to believe that a 63 year old man in his third term as governor is JUST NOW realizing that he’s been acting like a dirty old man in the office and that there MIGHT have been a power imbalance?? And if any of the women “misinterpreted” his behavior, then he’s sorry that you just couldn’t see what he was doing. Holy crap, it’s just like the nursing home scandal! Remember, Cuomo “accepted responsibility” during his press conference – after the Melissa DeRosa admission came to light – for letting people think that he had actually done anything wrong. It is ALWAYS the other person’s fault in Andrew Cuomo’s world. No wonder he felt free to call up Assemblyman Ron Kim and rage at him over the phone. After all, no one actually ever tells Andrew Cuomo “no” – they just get the hell away from him as fast as they can.
Now, let’s not pretend that there aren’t a lot of Democrats in New York state who are looking over this Cuomo situation very carefully to see if they have a shot at being governor sometime in the near future. And let’s not pretend that Andrew Cuomo doesn’t have the political clout to survive until his term is up. Something very big and very bad would have to be uncovered in order for Cuomo to resign, or be indicted personally in the nursing home cover-up (like a set of Watergate tapes). But the ocean liner that was Andrew Cuomo’s political career has run into the iceberg of his ego, ripped out a seam or two along the hull, and is taking on water. How much more damage can it take before it sinks? A lot. Is there more to be found out there? We shall see.
Featured image: original Victory Girls art by Darleen Click