Hochul brings new atmosphere

New York state Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul was a road warrior — especially last summer, during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, and during the state’s phased reopening. Hochul was in the Adirondacks just a few weeks ago for a visit to the Adirondack Experience in Blue Mountain Lake. Today, she is in the national spotlight.

On Wednesday, Hochul met with the media in Albany to discuss her preparation for a rapidly arriving ascent. She understands, and seems to be not overwhelmed by, the challenges that remain in the midst of her transition to take the leadership of the Empire State.

“My style is to listen first, then take decisive action,” Hochul said. “So in (11) days, I will officially become the 57th governor of the state of New York.”

This is monumental.

No one could have seen this coming one year ago when outgoing Gov. Andrew Cuomo was in the national spotlight with his daily briefings on the coronavirus pandemic — briefings that he won an Emmy Award for. Millions across the country were watching his daily briefings on the virus for information and reassurances.

In the eyes of some, he was a rock star — and there was no denying he loved the attention and the power it brought.

Then the controversies started to stack up.

The Cuomo administration’s apparent effort to hide how many of New York’s nursing home residents have died from illnesses tied to COVID-19 — to name one of those many controversies — should not be forgotten. It should continue to be investigated, regardless of the governor’s resignation.

Cuomo’s lieutenant governor, however, was rarely by his side during these briefings. She was out doing the administration’s leg work — putting in the time and plenty of miles overseeing how each region was coping with the virus.

While the current governor normally controlled the stage and setting, while offering commanding edicts, she was the administration’s people person.

Now comes the real test. Hochul, who kept her distance from Cuomo, was a cheerleader for his policies. She always towed the company line.

Beginning Aug. 24, all that changes with a fresh start. It is one Albany desperately needs.


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