Editorial: Cuomo’s quitting was his only option — and a profoundly sad moment for New York

New York Daily News

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo had no choice. If he didn’t resign, he would have been removed through impeachment and conviction. So instead of being dragged out, he walks away on Aug. 24, handing over the reins to Kathy Hochul. It was the right thing to do, even as he denied the sexual harassment he has been accused of by women who bravely risked everything to come forward.

There will be plenty of time during the next two weeks and beyond to evaluate his 10 years, seven months and 24 days as governor, and his earlier record as state attorney general, federal Cabinet secretary, homeless advocate and his father’s top political aide.

For now we praise him for sparing the state a drawn out fight when COVID is returning with a vengeance and there are dozens of other problems to fix. Maybe he just saw that he didn’t have the votes. Maybe he knows that his denials are ultimately unsustainable. Whatever it is, Cuomo wants to be remembered not for fighting with bare knuckles to the bitter end, but for bowing out with at least a thimble of grace.

Sexual harassment, intentional or not (as Cuomo contends) makes the lives of working women a constant, exhausting, degrading uphill climb, and that is why it is intolerable. That Cuomo is felled should end any doubt in anyone’s mind about what is okay and what isn’t.

This is a profoundly sad moment, not just for a man who held great promise, but for the state of New York.

No doubt there are high-fives, among progressives who’ve long loathed Cuomo and among conservatives who are the governor’s ideological enemies. Cuomo was and is, as we said upon endorsing him for reelection, a piece of work. But those celebrating should be careful what they wish for. Cuomo’s been making the hard decisions for a decade plus. Now those choices will be up to those who delight in his departure. May they, and our next governor, do the right and not the easy things.


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