Kathy Hochul, the unknown new governor of New York

jORGE ALDEGUER

The head of this state breaks with the iron hegemony of men in North American politics

Kathy Hochul follows in the wake of Lyndon B. Johnson, two members of the Democratic Party favored by the fatality of others. Both replace their predecessors due to force majeure. The vice president took over the helm of the United States after the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963 and she, just turned 63, has just seized the governorship of New York State after Andrew Cuomo – the predecessor in the position – assumed his own political demise after receiving eleven accusations of sexual harassment.

The unexpected owner of the Oval Office knew how to make the replacement profitable and win the next election on his own merits. De Hochul is also expected to seize the occasion and become a new heavyweight in American politics, although the state territory and the Big Apple have a disturbing tradition as a bonfire of vanities. Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg, for example, grew up on the East Coast. They both dreamed that New York’s economic, demographic and media power would lead them to the White House. But neither of them has made it to Washington, located about 300 kilometers to the southwest.

The trajectory of the new governor corresponds to that of a good part of the North American political class. His family, of Irish origin, faithfully represents the American dream by jumping in two generations from a trailer to the well-off status of entrepreneurs. The new state authority began its arduous professional work at the university, where it led progressive causes of the time such as the fight against South African ‘apartheid’.

Slow progression

Hochul’s career has not been brilliant. Until a few days ago, its profile was so low that it is unknown beyond the Hudson River. After graduating in Law, he began a slow progression that has allowed him to become active in all instances of state power, from the council to the party secretariat. In the American way, he has struggled in very personal work, close to the electorate, autonomous and without the iron ties to the party, as happens in Europe. The Democratic Party is a vast ideological spectrum that expands from liberalism to positions close to moderate socialism. Her centrist position has allowed her a certain oscillation that has even led her on occasion to join republican initiatives. Among other causes, he has positioned himself against the speculative measures of the oil companies and in favor of the preservation of Medicare, the public health program for retirees, one of the great arguments of Barack Obama.

His people noticed her after her success ten years ago in the 26th district, a traditional fiefdom of the right, in the elections to the House of Representatives. The territory, which includes Niagara Falls, boosted her credit in the leadership of the party and, apparently, Cuomo’s advisers advised her to incorporate her as second in command for the 2014 elections. it would add to the governor’s pull in the eastern urban areas. The result was a victory that they repeated in the 2018 elections.

The interests of one and the other began to diverge from the rumors against Cuomo. The governor, who had promoted the ‘Enough is enough’ campaign, aimed at combating sexual violence in the university environment, was progressively surrounded by the accusations. Since then, Hochul has kept a prudent, even physical, distance from the former white hope of the Democrats and was sworn in last week. It has soon become clear that he will not take on the past. His first public demonstrations, in which he acknowledges that 12,000 fatalities caused by the covid have not been counted, represent a declaration of intent, a bid to detach himself from the legacy of his former partner.

Symptom of change

Kathy Hochul, recognized as one of the first relevant beneficiaries of the ‘Me Too’ movement, is a symptom of change in American politics, a symbol of male hegemony. The glass ceiling cracks with your access to a qualified position that can become a stepping stone to the afterlife in power management.

The propagators of ‘fake news’ have wanted to harm her by assuring that she is a stepsister of Nancy Pelosi, the president of the House of Representatives, while others assure that Hillary Clinton already has a rival of similar affiliation. Critics allege that, as happened with the candidate, her husband will become an Achilles heel. William Hochul is a senior executive in a gambling company and, in her new role, the governor will control the commission that regulates this business. But no one is perfect or perfect in the mighty state of New York.

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