Our new book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. Among other things, it discusses state elections. Yesterday, sexual harassment allegations forced the resignation of NY Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Cuomo’s decision Tuesday to step down from office was not driven by a sense of penance or contrition, aides said, but rather by a recognition that his fate was set.
After governing New York with an iron fist for more than than a decade — and amassing an enviable list of achievements along the way — he had few allies willing to stand by him. Politically isolated, he faced the prospect of being expelled from the governor’s mansion by the state legislature and banned from running for state office again.
“He didn’t want to be the second governor in the history of New York state to be impeached. And he knew he’d be impeached,” said Kathryn Wylde, the president and chief executive of the Partnership for New York City, an influential business group, who had talked to some of the governor’s staffers.Cuomo didn’t even try to call to plead his case with Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, with some people close to him saying it would be a futile effort. Over the past week, his advisers determined that he had fewer than a dozen supporters left in the Assembly. Several thought he would certainly be convicted in the Senate and urged him to consider resigning. “We had no chance there,” said one adviser, who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations.
“If you are going to come at the king, you best not miss. If you are going to bully everyone, you best not slip,” said Preet Bharara, a former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York who investigated Cuomo and then became an object of the governor’s angry fixation.