Well, this is awkward.
I was among the swooning masses who got the vapors over New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his daily briefings on COVID-19 during the height of the pandemic last year. He projected confidence, competence and compassion, leadership qualities so lacking in the alleged president who bungled this continuing crisis from the beginning.
Cuomo long had a reputation as a political thug, but he stepped into the vacuum Trump created with relentless self-aggrandizement and moronic miracle cures like hydroxychloroquine and injecting bleach to beat the virus. Cuomo calmly and cooly dealt in science and fact, so many of us excused his infamously rough edges.
On Tuesday, the world learned just how rough those edges are. New York Attorney General Letitia James accused Cuomo of groping, kissing or making suggestive comments to 11 women in violation of a law he signed.
Over the past 24 hours, everybody but Cuomo’s brother Chris (the CNN host) has called for his immediate resignation. Even President Joe Biden, a longtime friend and ally, cut Cuomo loose. Politically, one or two accusers might be survivable. This is 11 women and 168 pages of hard evidence that says Cuomo is manifestly unfit to hold office and should be prosecuted for his crimes.
Read the devastating 168-page report here. For those who don’t get paid to read government reports, I’ll share a couple of excerpts:
Victim Identified as Executive Assistant #1:
Since approximately late 2019, the Governor engaged in a pattern of inappropriate conduct with an executive assistant (“Executive Assistant
#1”), who is a woman. That pattern of conduct included: (1) close and intimate hugs; (2) kisses on the cheeks, forehead, and at least one kiss on the lips; (3) touching and grabbing of Executive Assistant #1’s butt during hugs and, on one occasion, while taking selfies with him; and (4) comments and jokes by the Governor about Executive
Assistant #1’s personal life and relationships… inquiring multiple times about whether she had cheated or would cheat on her husband, and asking her to help find him a girlfriend. These offensive interactions, among others, culminated in an incident at the Executive Mansion in November 2020 when the Governor, during another close hug with Executive Assistant #1, reached under her blouse and grabbed her breast…
Victim Identified as Trooper #1:
The Governor sexually harassed her on a number of occasions, including by: (1) running his hand across her stomach, from her belly button to her right hip, while she held a door open for him at an event; (2) running his finger down her back, from the top of her neck down her spine to the middle of her back, saying “hey, you,”7 while she was standing in front of him in an elevator; (3) kissing her (and only her) on the cheek in front of another Trooper and asking to kiss her on another occasion, which she deflected; and (4) making sexually suggestive and gender-based comments, including (a) asking her to help him find a girlfriend and describing his criteria for a girlfriend as someone who “[c]an handle pain,”8 (b) asking her why she wanted to get married when marriage means “your sex drive goes down…”
Ugh. Just. Ugh.
In a taped statement, Cuomo, 63, denied the allegations with a pathetic attempt at gaslighting, essentially saying he sexually harasses everyone he meets because it “makes them feel comfortable.”
I’m comfortable saying I was wrong about Cuomo, and that he should resign yesterday. If he refuses to leave, he should be impeached. However it happens, Cuomo must go. Take it from an observer who once thought Cuomo was far superior to Trump and now knows they are both predators who use their power and position to get away with unwelcome advances against women.
Good riddance to both.