Gov. Cuomo’s reputation has been severely damaged and his chances of running for president destroyed by revelations that he interfered with the Moreland Commission’s efforts to probe political corruption, influential Democrats have told The Post.
The Democrats, who called the disclosures in last week’s New York Times “a political game changer” and a “Cuomo nightmare,’’ said the scandal would also provide the first real boost to the campaign of Cuomo’s long-shot Republican rival, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino.
Insiders described Cuomo as “humiliated’’ and “paralyzed’’ and unable to develop a strategy to respond.
“If Cuomo had a good argument to make he’d make it, but he doesn’t know what to do,’’ said a source close to the governor.
Ken Lovett reports that the Jon Stewart Daily Show "takedown" of Cuomo has been the most "devastating" hit he's taken politically:
Of the slew of bad coverage Cuomo suffered last week after the Times story hit, none may have been more devastating than his takedown by Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show."
Stewart, in his lead segment Thursday, listed a host of recent Albany corruption scandals and then ran numerous videos of Cuomo vowing to clean up Albany, his creation of the commission to do so, and then his disbanding of it.
Stewart focused on Cuomo’s original vow that the body would be independent before more recently saying that the panel couldn’t realistically look into him because he appointed it.
“I really hope there’s nothing to this because New York’s governors have two halls — Shame and Fame," Stewart quipped. “One of them is very crowded.”
A source close to Cuomo admitted the jibe from Stewart — a reliable liberal — hurt.
"Having it on Stewart's show takes it from being just a discussion among the political chattering class to the general public nationally," acknowledged the source. "Stewart's audience is the type of people (Cuomo) needs."
Until last week, Cuomo frequently touted the state's turnaround by noting that state government is no longer the target of late-night comedians as it had been under scandal-scarred predecessors Eliot Spitzer and David Paterson.
Cuomo has been out of the public eye for seven straight days now, though this on tap for today:
As expected, Gov. Andrew Cuomo will be at the University at Buffalo South Campus in Buffalo to make an economic development announcement at 10 a.m.
It will be interesting to see what statements he makes about the NY Times/Moreland story and if he takes questions from the press.
I don't think he can make an appearance in public and not address the story in some way, so I would expect him to make some kind of statement about the mess.
But I also don't think he's going to want to subject himself to a feeding frenzy of press questions over Moreland, so I'm betting that there may be one or two questions from the press that he takes after his statement at most, then he'll be off to some "pressing engagement" elsewhere.
If Fred Dicker has it right, that means returning to his darkened room and brooding in private over how to handle this "nightmare."