Well, it’s official. After previously snapping at reporters for asking him, Joe Biden took questions this afternoon and proclaimed that Gov. Andrew Cuomo needs to resign. This came after New York AG Letitia James released the findings of an investigation showing that Cuomo had sexually harassed at least eleven women, including committing what sounds like sexual assault in one instance.
Biden had originally passed on calling on Cuomo to resign, instead, saying he would wait for the investigation to complete. Now that it’s over and the results are what they are, Biden huddled with his handlers and decided it was best to stick by his prior comments.
PRES. BIDEN: "I think [Cuomo] should resign" pic.twitter.com/jUeu3itDtZ
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) August 3, 2021
This was the easy lay-up for Biden. After previously praising Cuomo as the “gold standard” for governors in the country even after the nursing home scandal broke, the president had to stop digging at some point and disconnect from the NY governor. I wasn’t confident he’d throw Cuomo overboard and envisioned he could try to straddle the fence instead, but I guess he deserves some slight amount of credit for following through. But only slight given this is obviously the most politically expedient thing to do.
What will be really interesting here is seeing how Cuomo responds. Biden has his own skeletons in his closet, namely the sexual assault allegations of Tara Reade. If Cuomo decides to burn it all down, he could easily point to the fact that Biden was never subjected to a real investigation. Whether he’ll do that, though, is the big question. If he wants a future with some cush private position where he can retire in peace, he’ll keep his mouth shut. If he wants to remain governor, maybe he throws caution to the wind.
Biden’s comments certainly represent an escalation for Cuomo, though. He can’t just sit idly by and ignore that the president called for him to resign. This is also the final green light for the Democrats in New York’s legislature to impeach him, and many of them seem eager to do so.
With all that said, some are pointing out that Biden chose his words carefully, not actually calling for Cuomo to be impeached. If Cuomo doesn’t resign, then what? He’s already said he’s not per his sociopathic response earlier today. Will the White House get behind a push to remove him from office by force? That’ll be the big test for Biden. I suspect some reporter will be asking that question soon enough.