Even with a number of investigations swirling round him, Gov. Cuomo is rising extra defiant, based on sources.
“He’s not resigning. There’s been no notion of him resigning,” mentioned one insider. “There’s no rationale to resignation. There’s no upside.
“He’s a disaster man. He has all the time been that manner. It’s who he’s. Disaster brings out the very best in him.”
Whereas Cuomo digs in, staffers are shedding religion, mentioned a supply who has been briefed on conversations inside the government workplace this week.
“There’s a sense amongst employees of ‘how lengthy can you purchase time till the subsequent story comes out?’ And that’s clearly what that is — a tactic to see how lengthy you possibly can run out the clock,” the supply mentioned.
As staffers defect, Cuomo is insulated by his closest confidants and staunchest allies, together with his three daughters and leaders within the Black neighborhood — and is taking recommendation from the particular person he believes is aware of New York voters greatest: himself.
Whilst he appeared to be approaching his political loss of life knell final week, with calls from the Democratic Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer to step down, Cuomo remained energized.
“The Schumer and Gillibrand transfer didn’t impression considering in any respect. The politicians and the voters are in very completely different locations proper now.” the insider mentioned.
Within the eyes of his critics, such selfish considering is what landed him within the hotseat.
“‘Enterprise as typical’ is the issue, not the answer. ‘Enterprise as typical’ is what led to Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassing Charlotte Bennett and 7 different ladies,” mentioned Deborah Katz, an lawyer for Bennett, Cuomo’s former 25-year-old aide who mentioned the governor prodded her with questions on her intercourse life contained in the governor’s mansion final 12 months and declared he would date ladies as younger as 22.
“Gov. Cuomo can conceal from questions all he needs and he can attempt to stack the impeachment investigation [by the state Assembly] in his favor, however the reality will come out. The Lawyer Common’s unbiased investigation will present that Andrew Cuomo has an extended and unacceptable report of surrounding himself with enablers who will permit him to sexually harass younger ladies who’re attempting to work in public service.”
Cuomo, in the meantime, has tried to play up his isolation as a advantage.
“Half of that is that I’m not half of the political membership. And you already know what? I’m proud of it,” Cuomo mentioned final Friday.
Whereas the declaration was mocked broadly by political watchers who notice Cuomo is a profession politician, beginning along with his first job working for his father, the late Gov. Mario Cuomo, strategists say there may be reality to the place.
“The politicians don’t like him, and that is only a crescendo of occasions. He’s been capable of incite the passions of each the appropriate and left. They’ve been ready for the appropriate second to eat him up and kill him,” mentioned veteran strategist Hank Sheinkopf.
Whereas his frenemies abound, few pols are more proficient on the artwork of swaying voter sentiment than Cuomo, insiders noticed.
“The person has been elected 4 instances by the state of New York. He is aware of what folks in New York need out of him. He’s uniquely attuned to what they want throughout this disaster,” the insider defined.
A ballot launched Monday advised the Cuomo’s considering concerning the voting public appeared to carry true. Half of these polled by Siena School mentioned the governor mustn’t step down.
“It’s not stunning — particularly when a ballot comes out and says 50 % don’t need him to resign — that he thinks ‘I can persuade the voters. All I care about is the voters, not the politicians.’ That’s the message now. So he’s going to hold on till issues begin to flip round within the polls,” mentioned a second supply aware of the governor’s considering.
However by Thursday, a ballot by Quinnipiac College confirmed 43 % of voters imagine he ought to resign, up from the 35 % who mentioned so within the Siena ballot Monday.
Cuomo continued his nothing-to-see-here technique all through the week.
The general public final heard from him on the sexual harassment allegations on March 12, and he mentioned Wednesday he wouldn’t deal with them once more pending the impeachment investigation.
As a substitute, he leaned on key voting blocs and tangible examples of progress which can be simple for voters to digest — infrastructure initiatives and the vaccine effort, strategists and insiders defined.
He obtained the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at Mount Neboh Baptist Church in Harlem on Wednesday — a photograph op the place reporters had been barred .
“He’s actually easy — it’s ‘the present should go on, and to hell with everyone else. He’s not going to provide in. He’s not going to cower. He’s not going to point out weak point. He’s going to return to what he is aware of methods to do, which is make the present go on no matter the fee,” Sheinkopf noticed.
Regardless of the business-as-usual technique, experiences of extra brutish conduct from the governor continued all through the week.
On Friday, The New Yorker reported Cuomo as soon as joked he would attempt to “mount” his former aide and first accuser Lindsey Boylan, if he had been a canine.
Later Friday, a present aide got here ahead with new allegations of sexual harassment and a cover-up led by Cuomo to hide one other staffer’s accusations that he groped her contained in the Governor’s mansion final 12 months.
President Biden for the primary time commented on the allegations Wednesday, however stopped brief of calling for Cuomo’s immedate elimination. He mentioned he ought to resign if the accusations are confirmed true.
Sheinkopf mentioned if the nation’s high Dem comes out in opposition to him, it might be the ultimate nail in Cuomo’s coffin.
“I feel the Biden response may have been — may nonetheless be — very damaging.”