Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D., N.Y.), a.k.a. the "Butcher of Albany," is under increasing pressure to resign as state authorities investigate him for undercounting COVID-related deaths in nursing homes and for being an alleged sex pest who harasses women.
At least his mommy still supports him. Matilda Cuomo, widow of former New York governor Mario Cuomo, made her first public comments on the ongoing scandals earlier this week. "I have always had the utmost admiration for Andrew, and I still do," the governor's mommy told the Albany Times Union. "He is my son and I don't like what he is going through."
The Cuomo matriarch did not specifically address the numerous allegations of sexual harassment against her son, but defended the defiant governor's refusal to resign. "I tell Andrew to continue doing his job as governor," she said. "He is a problem solver who gets things done for the people of New York."
Matilda Cuomo's public foray into the controversy is reminiscent of former first lady Barbara Bush's defense of her son Jeb Bush during the 2016 Republican primary. After months of struggling for relevance in the face of Donald Trump's relentless attacks, Jeb finally called in the big guns.
"Jeb has been a very good father. A wonderful son," Barbara Bush said in a video announcement in January 2016. "Of all the people running, he seems to be the one who could solve the problems. I think he'll be a great president."
Jeb Bush ended his candidacy less than a month later, but not before Trump ruthlessly mocked the former governor of Florida for involving his mother. "Jeb is having some kind of a breakdown," Trump told CNN days after the release of the video. "He's an embarrassment to his family. He has to bring his mother out and walk his mother around at 90 years old. I think it's a very sad situation that's taking place."
As far as Cuomo is concerned, his unusual relationship with his parents is one of the overlooked themes of his self-congratulatory memoir, American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic. (The virus has killed at least 12,000 New Yorkers since publication.)
Cuomo discussed, for example, his habit of wearing his late father's old shoes on "difficult" days and how he would often lie in bed and have imaginary conversations with his dad. "I would list a fact pattern and ask him what he thought," he wrote. "And then I would provide his analysis." This made him "feel as if I were not alone."
Cuomo's relationship with his father also appears to have seeded a bizarre contempt for his younger brother Chris Cuomo, the CNN personality who is considered the "funny" one in the family. The elder Cuomo wrote that their father was "much more tolerant than he had been with me" and "encouraged [Chris's] humor" but argued that Chris wouldn't be so funny if he had to deal with the stress and media scrutiny that came with being governor of New York.
Cuomo lamented that his many playful "interviews" with Chris on CNN did not allow him to convey his significant talent for comedy—a talent he sought to reiterate in the pages of American Crisis. "I am funny," Cuomo wrote, definitively. "Many people don't know that I am funny. But I am. Actually, I am very funny."