If New Yorkers were looking to get an idea of what to expect from their soon-to-be new governor, they would have been disappointed by Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul’s first press conference Wednesday.
The lieutenant governor, who will become governor a dozen days from today following Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s stunning resignation Tuesday over sexual harassment allegations, offered little insight into herself or her plans for the state after serving nearly six years in Cuomo’s giant shadow.
It’s reasonable to assume many New Yorkers had never heard of her prior to Tuesday, and that fewer still have any familiarity with her background or record.
This was her chance to tell us who she is, what she’s about and what she envisions. But we got very little of that.
It’s true, she only officially learned she was getting the job about 27 hours earlier, and that she won’t actually become governor until Aug. 24.
And perhaps she was being respectful of the fact that Cuomo is still officially in office — a point she made numerous times during her half-hour press conference.
But there is no mourning period necessary here. Cuomo is resigning in disgrace and with few allies left. Even she admitted Wednesday they weren’t close. And there’s no doubt that she will be the governor.
No one would have begrudged her for taking the wheel immediately and running fast and furious away from Cuomo.
So why not give us some more insight into how she plans to move forward and how she plans to address the various Cuomo scandals, impeachment, a potential pardon, the nursing home data and the covid crisis?
Tell us more about our next governor, the first female to hold the job.
But maybe that was her strategy: Don’t look too excited. Distinguish her low-key management style from the aggressive, shotgun style that a lot of people hated about her soon-to-be predecessor. If that was the plan, she pulled it off.
She actually did give New Yorkers a few slight glimpses of what to expect.
She said she will “fight like hell” for New Yorkers. OK. Good.
She said there would be turnover from the previous administration, particularly those deemed unethical.
She promised she wouldn’t have the same toxic work environment that Cuomo became famous for.
She said she’d be transparent. (But that’s what they all say at first.)
And she assured us she was ready and prepared to run the state, without saying exactly how, given that Cuomo has basically shut her out the last six years.
Hochul promised to reveal more about her plans once the “lieutenant” part is removed from her job title later this month.
But by way of her introduction to New Yorkers and how she plans to govern, Wednesday’s inaugural press conference was disappointingly lacking.