Mayor de Blasio: Cuomo 'can no longer serve as governor' (and 55 NY Democrats agree)

Mayor de Blasio has been taking shots at Gov. Cuomo for weeks. Today, during a press conference, the mayor went in for the kill, reciting the latest allegation against Cuomo and saying he can no longer serve as governor.

“It’s deeply troubling. The specific allegation that the governor called an employee of his — someone who he had power over — called them to a private place and then sexually assaulted her, is absolutely unacceptable. It is disgusting to me,” the mayor said during his daily press COVID-19 briefing.

“He can no longer serve as governor anymore. It’s as simple as that,” the mayor…

“it’s not one, it’s not 2, it’s not 3, it’s not 4, it’s not 5. It’s 6 women coming forward,” said de Blasio.

He may be America’s worst mayor but on this issue he’s right. It’s probably fair to say that the mayor is acting out of a desire for personal payback rather than principle. Cuomo and de Blasio have been at odds for years and last year that took on a sharper edge. Cuomo became the left’s hero of the pandemic while de Blasio’s favorability barely budged. Now that Cuomo’s fortunes have fallen, it’s payback time.

Last month, de Blasio was quick to confirm the allegations of bullying by Cuomo were not surprising. When the sexual harassment allegations first broke about a week later, de Blasio called for an investigation while many other Democrats said nothing. And just last week, de Blasio added that he had no trouble believing the allegations against Cuomo and adding that if they were confirmed, Cuomo would need to resign.

It seems as if the tide has turned. The NY Post reports a group of 55 Democratic state legislators have called on Cuomo to resign.

More than 55 Democratic state legislators called Thursday for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign — and the Assembly speaker said he would hold a meeting later in the day “on potential paths forward.”…

“We have a Lieutenant Governor who can step in and lead for the remainder of the term, and this is what is best for New Yorkers in this critical time,” the statement added.”

“It is time for Governor Cuomo to resign.”

Cuomo has already said once that he will not resign. So far his plan is to ask everyone to wait on the results of the investigation. I’m not sure how that’s going to help him other than by kicking the can down the road a few weeks. We already know several allegations against him are true. One incident was caught on camera. Two others were backed up by texts and messages sent at the time. Does Cuomo really think an investigation is going to make him look less guilty? How would that happen exactly?

The really cynical take here is that Cuomo is hoping that as New York (and the rest of the country) comes out of the pandemic this summer thanks to the vaccine, people will credit him for his leadership and be willing to overlook the sexual harassment and groping allegations. Or maybe they’ll just be so happy they’ll forget about him. And who knows, maybe he’s right. But don’t forget about the parallel investigation of his handling of nursing homes which has already tarnished his reputation.

Bottom line, it’s hard to see how things get better for Gov. Cuomo. I think he’s trying to drag this out in hopes that things will look different in a few months, but there’s a real chance things could look substantially worse by then. Staying and fighting may be a decision he comes to regret, especially if even more accusers come forward.

On that last point, here’s Mayor de Blasio’s press conference from yesterday. I’ve cued this up to a question during the Q&A where he was asked about the allegations against Cuomo. The reporter points out that de Blasio had predicted there would be more allegations to come. The mayor says he didn’t get any insider tips and then predicts that there will be even more accusers coming forward in the future. “I think the way the governor has comported himself for years created a lot of fear. A lot of people felt they could not speak up and now they feel they can speak up, and I think you’re going to see more,” he said.