Two themes have often recurred in Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s discourse: public trust and the importance of family.
Both subjects played an important role in his New Year’s Day inaugural address in 2015. The speech was entitled “The Family of New York,” and the Governor emphasized the phrase, “trust is government’s lifeblood.” That latter term – expressing such a lofty and self-evident concept – seemed both ironic and hypocritical to me coming from the lips of a political figure who had done so many things to weaken the public’s (or, at least, my) confidence in its government. [I’ll insert below links to a number of my writings expressing dissatisfaction with Andrew Cuomo’s approach to governance.]
The concept of restoring the public’s trust in its political leaders was so significant to the son of the late-Gov. Mario Cuomo that Andrew adopted it as a motto for his 2014 re-election campaign.
The word “family” has been used both literally and figuratively by Gov. Cuomo. Yes, he has spoken broadly and grandly of the family of New York, of its strength and resilience. But, not even an Andrew Cuomo skeptic such as myself could doubt the love, admiration, and concern for his three daughters – twins Mariah and Cara, and the youngest, Michaela – expressed during his daily Covid-19 briefings in the spring of 2020 (his moment of national acclaim), and repeated during his resignation announcement around noon today.
I realize that many – if not most – New Yorkers and pundits were surprised that the man known for his defiant and arrogant personality reached the decision to resign his post as governor (effective in fourteen days). But, frankly, I wasn’t.
Last evening, I re-read many of the articles and posts I had penned concerning the abrasive and deceptive governor. That exercise left two thoughts in my mind: the Governor’s oft-expressed desire to restore public trust, and his love for his daughters (who are about the same age as my children). I realized that resignation – sooner, rather than later – would be the only way that Andrew Cuomo, the politician, could start the process of restoring the confidence of New Yorkers in the process of governing, and the most fruitful way that Andrew Cuomo, the father of three young women, could begin the healing of any damage that may have been done to his daughters’ faith in their father by the allegations of sexual harassment and Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation report.
With All Due Respect,
P.S. Here are links to some of my writings regarding the soon-to-be former Governor: