Here’s a headline that I didn’t have on my 2022 bingo card. Once former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo finally resigned in disgrace and had to sit though multiple investigations to see if he would be charged with sexual assault against any of his many accusers, one might have imagined that he would sail off into retirement and keep a low profile. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. One of his closest advisers recently released a new television advertisement that looks suspiciously like a campaign advertisement without specifically mentioning any future run for elected office. Rich Azzopardi published the video called “Politics vs. the Law” on Cuomo’s website and it’s full of media snippets suggesting that he was the subject of a politically motivated witch hunt and the results of the investigations that followed have completely vindicated him. It may sound ridiculous, but it’s packed to the brim with unspoken, blue-on-blue accusations and attacks, so you might enjoy spending a couple of minutes watching it. (NY Post)
Andrew Cuomo’s attempted political comeback is officially underway: The run-out-of-office ex-governor launched a TV ad Monday claiming he was the victim of a political hit job despite resigning in disgrace.
The 30-second “Politics vs. The Law” ad — first reported by The Post on Friday — takes aim at state Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation that concluded the Democratic former governor harassed or mistreated 11 women, including executive staffers and a state trooper.
The 30-second spot strings together snippets from TV reports that highlight recent decisions by five district attorneys to not bring criminal charges against Cuomo for sexual harassment.
Here’s the video. It’s thankfully not very long.
As you can see, the video itself doesn’t go into any specific claims against individuals, but instead cherry-picks some headlines and cable news talking heads covering the dismissals of various charges, strongly suggesting that there was nothing to the cases to begin with and it was all a political stunt designed to take Cuomo down. Of course, as we’ve covered here repeatedly, each of the dismissals came with official statements saying the witnesses were credible and the testimony compelling, but they lacked enough meat on the legal bones to believe that a conviction could be achieved.
These charges against fellow Democrats in some of the supporting material, however, are really something to behold, but Cuomo obviously has more than one ax to grind. Seeing Cuomo’s team going after Letitia James, the Democratic Attorney General who ran the investigation and produced the damning report, really shouldn’t surprise us. She was probably the primary driver that led to Cuomo exiting stage left. The fact that she was viewed as a strong contender to replace Cuomo as governor at the time only added more sauce for the goose.
But what is the purpose of putting out a video like this? Could Cuomo really be envisioning a comeback? Let’s imagine for a moment that Cuomo still really has a political future. What offices might he consider running for? The Governor’s mansion won’t be available for a new occupant for four full years. Any other office inside of the state, with the possible exception of a Senate seat, would be a step down, including that of the Mayor of New York City. (And that’s occupied until at least 2026 also.) Chuck Schumer is up for reelection this year, but nobody seriously believes that he could be beaten in a primary. Gillibrand is up in 2024, but that would be an equally steep uphill battle.
So what’s left? President? If Joe Biden decides not to run again in 2024, I suppose it’s possible that Cuomo could be thinking of jumping in the Democratic Primary. Kamala Harris would be far from a shoo-in for the nomination, but there would be a lot of other competition lining up at that point with far less baggage than Cuomo.
So maybe that’s not the sort of “comeback” being discussed here. It’s possible that Cuomo simply wants to rewrite history so his legacy won’t look quite so tawdry. Good luck with that, Mr. Cuomo. You’re going to need to find an awfully big eraser to make all of the trash you left behind simply fade away.
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