Since 1988, there's been a flurry of Democratic heavyweights in New York State who have fallen from grace for their behavior towards women: former Chief Judge Sol Wachtler, former Governor Eliot Spitzer and former State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
And, now Governor Andrew Cuomo could soon follow in their footsteps.
Then, the question becomes: Is Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul sufficiently prepared to immediately assume the office in the middle of a pandemic if Cuomo resigns?
That's not a swipe at her at all but at the governor who didn't even mention her in his recent book about his administration's handling of the pandemic. In short, he has not made her a part of his team that deals with Covid that we see at his regular press briefings.
The good news is that Hochul has shown up in Sullivan County almost as much as Cuomo, who has visited Sullivan only about three times since taking office in 2011. And those appearances were always carefully choreographed and mostly away from the average citizens. The only exception in memory was his visit in November 2017 to Kenneth L. Rutherford Elementary School to tout after school programs.
He visited Bethel Woods in 2014 for an announcement about the full casino license awarded to Empire Resorts for Resorts World Catskills. At that event, Cuomo said that Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther "doesn't kiss me like that" in reference to a greeting he witnessed between her and Todd Diorio of Laborer's Local 17.
As he thanked those responsible for the awarding of the casino, he said:
"To Todd Diorio...I'm not quite sure what that was with the kissing of the Assemblywoman (Gunther)...and then what comes after..I don't know but I don't think I want to know either."
"And to Aileen Gunther..she doesn't kiss me like that..and I even know her name and she doesn't kiss me like that. But she has been a phenomenon. "
He also visited Sullivan in 2019, culminating in a luncheon at Bethel Woods.
If Cuomo resigns or is forced out, Hochul would become the first female governor in New York State history.
Below: Hochul visiting Roscoe Beer Company in 20018.
Link to video of Cuomo's remarks about Gunther's 'kiss' in 2014 at Bethel Woods