NYS Dem chair: Since Cuomo's not resigning, how about we all just get back to work?

NYS Dem chair: Since Cuomo's not resigning, how about we all just get back to work?

You realize that if he survives this and gets reelected next year, no American politician will ever again resign due to scandal, right? Certainly no one will ever resign over non-criminal misconduct. Only a fool would watch how Trump, then Ralph Northam, and finally Cuomo were able to weather their storms simply by turning a deaf ear to leaders in their own parties who demanded that they withdraw.

The public has a short attention span and it’s getting shorter over time. Just hang on and trust that they’ll lose interest in whatever you’re being criticized for even if your implacable foes in the political class won’t.

This quote made the rounds of political Twitter this weekend, but I wonder: Does it even matter?

“The problem with Cuomo is no one has ever liked him,” said Richard Ravitch, a former Democratic lieutenant governor. “He’s not a nice person and he doesn’t have any real friends. If you don’t have a base of support and you get into trouble, you’re dead meat.”

As one Cuomo adviser put it, the governor has burned so many bridges that he has left himself with virtually no path forward. Yet those who have been close to Mr. Cuomo say they cannot imagine him resigning, not least because it would leave him short of matching the three full terms of his father, Gov. Mario M. Cuomo, let alone topping him with a fourth by running in 2022.

But he’s not “dead meat.” If he were dead meat, he wouldn’t have the head of his own state party shooing people away from his two scandals today, encouraging everyone to move on — at least until the authorities investigating him have some results:

New York State Democratic Chairman Jay S. Jacobs issued a statement Monday that said in part: “Now that virtually every Democratic elected official has made their views known, and the Governor has made clear that he has no intention of resigning until the results of the independent investigations into the allegations against him have been completed, it is incumbent upon everyone to focus on getting the work of government done. Over the next two weeks, the state must complete a budget, ramp up its already extensive vaccination program and tend to the many other responsibilities that require the full attention of state government.”

That’s just what Cuomo wants, to buy time and ease the pressure on him to quit while everyone from Chuck Schumer to Kirsten Gillibrand to AOC and the New York Democratic House caucus is trying to shove him towards the exit. As long as the AG and the state assembly don’t end up accusing him of a crime, he can always claim vindication from their probes and resort to the same lame apology he’s already offered: He may have been overly “friendly” and tone deaf in how he spoke to his women deputies at times, which he regrets, but he certainly didn’t accost anyone. Crisis over. Reelection campaign full steam ahead.

While Jacobs was busy running interference today for Cuomo, begging other top New York Democrats to back off him and give him space to breathe, one of Cuomo’s accusers was speaking to investigators about her encounters with him. Charlotte Bennett is the second accuser, who claims that he asked her about her love life and spoke to her suggestively about dating older men. The last sentence here includes a new detail that Bennett hadn’t mentioned publicly before:

There are various parallels between Cuomo’s scandal and some of Trump’s scandals. A reference to hand size in this one was inevitable, I suppose.

The entire New York Democratic establishment has called on him to quit but the national Democratic establishment has been cagier. I don’t know if even Cuomo could resist resigning if the country’s two most powerful liberals, Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi, told him the time has come. But he doesn’t need to worry. Both were asked about this yesterday and both punted, with Biden providing his old friend Andrew the cover he needs to hang on until the investigations are over and Pelosi going no further than nudging him to consider if he can still govern effectively. They’re taking the same position as Jacobs essentially, encouraging people not to focus so much on this right now.

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Jazz Shaw 5:01 PM on March 22, 2023