New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul gave her first public remarks Wednesday since Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his resignation a day earlier. “It is not something I expected or asked for, but I am fully prepared to assume the responsibilities of the 57th governor of the state of New York,” Hochul said. Watch her remarks and a press conference she held.
It’s over. Faced with universal demands for him to step down and clearly unable to govern, Gov. Andrew Cuomo did the only sane thing: He tendered his resignation.
It was only a matter of time, of course. No one wanted him around anymore. If he hadn’t quit voluntarily, the Legislature would’ve booted him.
Opposition to his continued tenure mushroomed not only because of the charges of sexual misconduct from numerous women, devastating as they were, or his deadly nursing home scandal — his efforts to damn his accusers and cover up the care home facts were added outrages.
No, animosity had grown, as John Podhoretz noted in The Post, even before his scandals broke. He’d racked up a lifetime of enemies, mostly through thuggishness, an attitude that also backfired on the last New York governor to step down, Eliot Spitzer.
Cuomo’s departure leaves the state in the hands of his lieutenant governor, Kathy Hochul, who’s largely unknown — and untested — at a key moment for the state. When then-Lt. Gov. David Paterson took over from Spitzer in 2008, following a prostitution scandal, he’d served in the state Senate for decades, including as minority leader.
Hochul will preside over a state facing soaring crime and a post-COVID economy struggling to recover. Enormous fiscal challenges lie just down the road, and next year’s race for governor will only add complexity.
Worst, she’ll have to hold back radicalized lawmakers whose agenda — yet more anti-cop measures, raising taxes further and yet more irresponsible state spending and bank-busting programs like single-payer health care — would be disastrous.
Her first order of business, of course: Clean house at the Capitol’s Second Floor, removing Cuomo loyalists, especially those linked to his numerous scandals.
Paterson managed to see the state through, despite the rocky economy at the time; Hochul might face an even heavier lift. New Yorkers should wish her well.