After a third woman came forward with allegations of sexual harassment against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is already under fire for misrepresenting the number of COVID-19 nursing home deaths in the state, Rep. Kathleen Rice, a Democrat, had had enough.
Following Monday night’s report of a third young woman accusing Cuomo of an “unwanted advance,” Rice, who represents NY’s fourth Congressional district, tweeted that “The time has come. The Governor must resign.”
Anna Ruch had never met Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo before encountering him at a crowded New York City wedding reception in September 2019. Her first impression was positive enough.
The governor was working the room after toasting the newlyweds, and when he came upon Ms. Ruch, now 33, she thanked him for his kind words about her friends. But what happened next instantly unsettled her: Mr. Cuomo put his hand on Ms. Ruch’s bare lower back, she said in an interview on Monday.
When she removed his hand with her own, Ms. Ruch recalled, the governor remarked that she seemed “aggressive” and placed his hands on her cheeks. He asked if he could kiss her, loudly enough for a friend standing nearby to hear. Ms. Ruch was bewildered by the entreaty, she said, and pulled away as the governor drew closer.
“I was so confused and shocked and embarrassed,” said Ms. Ruch, whose recollection was corroborated by the friend, contemporaneous text messages and photographs from the event. “I turned my head away and didn’t have words in that moment.”
All of the governor’s actions, from his willingness to misrepresent the number of deaths of nursing home residents and his cold disregard once it became known, his purported intimidation of men in the state government who threatened to expose it, to his alleged sexual harassment of three women, stem from his massive sense of entitlement. The laws don’t apply to him.
Contrary to the fawning press who praised his skilled leadership, his ability to steer his state through the coronavirus crisis. and his rugged good looks, I always found him to be thuggish, dishonest and arrogant.
Cuomo will likely tough it out and complete his term because that’s the lesson Democrats learned a long time ago from Bill Clinton.
Still, in his quiet moments, I wonder how he feels when he looks at his Emmy award trophy or a copy of his book, “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic.”
Hopefully, he’ll learn that there’s such a thing as humility.