Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

SUNY Cortland Professor: Expect Different Governing Style From Cuomo's Replacement Kathy Hochul

Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul delivers remarks during a news conference in the Blue Room at the State Capitol.
Mike Groll/Mike Groll/Office of the Governo
Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul delivers remarks during a news conference in the Blue Room at the State Capitol.

The Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at SUNY Cortland says a cloud has been lifted from State Government with the resignation of Governor Andrew Cuomo this week. Bob Spitzer says there’s no telling whether the State Legislature will carry out impeachment proceedings with or without consequences; including a provision from barring the Governor to ever hold a public office, again. But either way, he says Cuomo’s political career will always be permanently stained, if it’s not completely over.

“But by the same token, I think he can look back on his time as governor and point to a fat and long list of accomplishments,” said Spitzer. “I mean objectively speaking, whether you agree with his policy goals or not, Andrew Cuomo was a very effective governor, effective at advancing his legacy. Now there has been and will continue to be many comparisons between Andrew Cuomo and his father Mario Cuomo.”

Spitzer adds that while Kathy Hochul is stepping into a big job, she has the advantage of experience as a travelling Lieutenant Governor. He surmises her frequent personal appearances may have been a bit more ‘political’ than simply just delivering Cuomo’s ‘policies’.

“I think it’s good partly because people still don’t know her all that well. This is a way for her to get to know local leaders better, to acquaint herself not just with leaders but with people around the state,” said Spitzer. “I think that’s been very important.”

Spitzer adds that Hochul’s appearances in various areas of the state including Central New York allowed her to get a pulse of what’s going on. He feels the new Governor will be very different ‘stylistically’ from Cuomo.

“Cuomo obviously was very thin-skinned, pretty abrasive, difficult to deal with, both for his opponents and even his allies. And I think the legislature will welcome her contrasting political style and that will help her I think as she launches her time as governor,” said Spitzer.

Hochul focused mainly on Cuomo’s economic and business programs. She also carried the torch for Women’s Rights policies and improving sexual harassment laws, including tougher laws and penalties for sexual assaults on college campuses. She was also active with the Governor’s pandemic response, officially opening the State’s Mass Vaccination Clinic at the State Fairgrounds back in March.

John Smith has been waking up WAER listeners for a long time as our Local Co-Host of Morning Edition with timely news and information, working alongside student Sportscasters from the Newhouse School.