Deconstructing Your Sudden Attraction to Governor Cuomo
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has emerged as internet's new crush. Here's why.
We live in very uncertain times. The coronavirus pandemic has upended life as we know it. For the time being, we can't live the way we used to, and we don't know what comes next. It often feels like no one has any credible information or knows what to do. Can I hug my mom or not? Should I wear a face mask? Is a national shutdown really necessary? What will that do to the economy? And—most importantly—why am I suddenly attracted to Gov. Cuomo?
Like most people I know, I've never paid much attention to the New York governor, even though I live in New York. And, like most people I know, the little comfort I've received in the last couple weeks of living in New York City has come courtesy of the press briefings Cuomo holds every day. His proactive, empathetic, no-nonsense approach has actually earned him bipartisan applause. He's been trending on Twitter all week as a new vote for president, and it's not hard to see why.
Is it too late for the Dems to nominate Andrew Cuomo?
— Julia Ioffe (@juliaioffe) March 25, 2020
It often feels like politicians are hiding something, or are just in it for their own image or gain. Not Cuomo. At last weekend's briefing, he made it very clear that he doesn't care whether or not this gets him re-elected. He just wants to do the right thing and save lives. These days, that means something.
The #cuomobriefing is the best part of my day. He provides facts, plans and leadership with command and humanity. Plus there are always little extras that make me smile. Today's was the threat to close the playgrounds if New Yorkers don't stop playing basketball (BB) #StayHome pic.twitter.com/gQjYcxPADt
— Anastasia Tonello (@anastasianylon) March 25, 2020
And this whole pandemic has endearingly brought out Cuomo's inner Queens. When discussing overcrowding at New York parks on Sunday, he came one step short of sounding like an irate, protective dad saying, "I don't know how to get it through 'ya thick skulls. I like bball as much as the next guy, but it's over for now. Done. And go put a sweater on."
He was trending again on Monday for brazenly complaining about New York only being sent 400 ventilators. "What am I going to do with 400 ventilators when I need 30,000?" he asked. "You pick the 26,000 who are going to die because you only sent 400 ventilators." It was a pretty boss move.
The full video. Watch.
"FEMA says 'we're sending 400 ventilators.' Really? What am I going to do with 400 ventilators when I need 30,000? You pick the 26,000 who are going to die because you only sent 400 ventilators."pic.twitter.com/Llug7BbB8k
— Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) March 24, 2020
A friend told me she puts on makeup whenever Cuomo comes on TV, which makes me feel a little less bad about the fact that my love life currently consists of watching Cuomo's press briefings and crushing on the way he says he's willing to "pay premium" for hospital supplies.
Maybe it's because, at a terrifying time like this, it's nice to see someone trying to help while taking charge, with his sweet little PowerPoint presentations and subtle dad jokes that harken back to a simpler time.
CHRIS CUOMO: Andrew Cuomo, of course, my brother. Thank you for coming back to the show.
ANDREW CUOMO: Mom told me I had to.
CHRIS CUOMO: *Eyeroll* pic.twitter.com/UmJVZ3r1V5
— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) March 24, 2020
Cuomo really is a relic of a bygone era—the kind of Good Old White Man in the same league as Tom Hanks and Captain Sully—one who manages to mix the toughness and family values of the past with the compassion and inclusivity of the present.
Admittedly, there's a comfort in that past. No one wants to go back to it, but it's soothing on the sheer basis of the fact that it happened and the world didn't end, especially when you feel like you're at the edge of the earth.
Or maybe it's because Cuomo feels like the only adult in a room full of argumentative children screaming about who's right and who's wrong. No matter how dire the situation, no matter how strict he has to be about it, Cuomo makes you feel like he's got this and he's going to do whatever is in his power to make sure everything's going to be alright. When you feel helpless and vulnerable, that's enough to make you think you're in love.