The imperious rise and accelerating fall of Andrew Cuomo

Be it his self-regard, his disdain for fellow Democrats or his imperious demeanor, Mr. Cuomo alienated allies and enemies alike on his way up in politics, and now finds himself sliding from hero-level worship to pariah-like status with the kind of astonishing speed that only the friendless suffer. It is a downfall foretold in a decade-long reign of ruthlessness and governance by brute force, according to interviews with more than two dozen lawmakers, elected officials, current and past Cuomo administration officials, political activists and strategists in the state.

For Mr. Cuomo, politics has always been a zero-sum game: For him to win, someone else must lose, whether it is the legislator whose idea he is taking credit for, or Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose initiatives he routinely stomped. The same domineering approach that won plaudits in the depths of the coronavirus crisis has bruised a generation of Mr. Cuomo’s peers, such that many were ready to turn on him once vulnerable.

“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.”…

“I have not met a person yet in New York politics who has a good relationship with Andrew Cuomo,” said State Senator Alessandra Biaggi, a Democrat and outspoken critic of the governor who also once worked in his administration. “And I’m not saying ‘close relationship,’ I’m saying ‘good relationship.’ Even people who are close to him I cannot say in good faith have a good relationship with him.”