Considered one the bright young stars in the Democratic Party, no one could have imagined that New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer would wind up resigning his office March 17, 2008 after the FBI uncoverd the former Harvard Law School graduate patronized high-priced call girls. Given Spitzer’s strong track record as New York Attorney general prosecuting the mob and Wall Street carpetbaggers, he probably would have run for president. Before resigning in disgrace, Eliot was considered a probable vice presidential pick of either Barack Obama or Hillary Rodham Clinton. Vanquished from politics since 2008, Spitzer eventually made the rounds on TV talk shows, eventually landing him his own shows on CNN and Current TV. Spitzer’s 89-year-old father, Bernard, immigrated from Europe after WWI, becoming one of New York City’s wealthiest real estate investors.
Eliot asked for forgiveness and tossed his hat into the ring July 7, 2013, running for New York City Comptroller, ironically against his former madam supplying him call girls Kristen Davis, Manhattan Borough Chief Scott Springer [considred the favorite], Republican John Burnett and Green Party candidate Julia Willebrand. By far the most qualified for the job, the public must ask whether or not Eliot deserves another shot. When you consider all the skullduggery on Wall Street, the once tough NY attorney general known as “the Sheriff of Wall Street” has all the right stuff to do a bang up job as comptroller. Already spending lavishly to defeat Eliot, a strange mix of business, unions and feminist groups hope to spend $1.5 million to defeat the former governor. Spitzer made a name for himself while attorney general, taking on Wall Street during the late nineties dot-com bubble.
Hoping to win back support on Wall Street, Spitzer said New York’s financial community has no worries if they play by the rules. Women’s groups, led by the National Organization of Women, oppose Spitzer for his degrading women for patronizing prostitutes. While Spitzer doesn’t like to talk about his past indiscretions, he’s intimated strongly he has a clinical sexual addition for which he received appropriate treatment. Whether his marriage to Silda Wall Spitzer, also a Harvard Law graduate, survives is anyone’s guess. So far, she’s stuck by her man, much like former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton stuck with former President Clinton after his tryst with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Some folks have been less forgiving with Eliot because of his tough stand prosecuting prostitutes, considering his behavior the ultimate hypocrisy.
Before the public throws the baby out with bathwater, Spitzer proved for almost his entire political career he was the people’s candidate. Like the legendary Kennedy family of Hyannis Port, Ma., Spitzer too came from wealth but dedicated himself to fighting against corporate greed and for ordinary citizens. He took on Wall Street’s sacred cows, prestigious investment banks, for enriching themselves while sticking it to small investors. “We’re trying to make sure the markets work,” said Spitzer, rejecting the idea that as comptroller he’d be too tough on Wall Street. “True capitalists understand the boundary lines, under stand too much leverage can be dangerous . .. [that] playing with other people’s money without due regard to fiduciary obligations is problematic,” Eliot told the Wall Street’s wonk show the “Daily Ticker,” showing that he speaks Wall Street’s language.
Author of the book, “Protecting Capitalism Case by Case,” Spitzer knows Wall Street inside out and is the best-qualified as New York City Comptroller. His yen for prostitutes behind him, New York City voters should give Eliot a careful second look. No matter how much the opposition throws mud, voters must decide whether or not he’s atoned for his past indiscretions. Manhattan borough President Scott Stringer, now running behind, plays up Eliot’s past problems, knowing he’s not in the former governor’s league. “I would have fired Eliot Spitzer,” said Stringer, regarding Spitzer patronizing prostitutes. “He couldn’t work in my office,” responding to Spitzer’s recent comments about former Rep. Anthony Weiner, now running for New York City mayor. Stringer responded to Spitzer’s recent comments that he would fire an employee texting vulgar pictures like Weiner.
Spitzer’s in for a dogfight between now and Sept. 10 primary election. While his opponents plan to throw a lot of mud, Spitzer needs to take the attacks in stride, refraining, as Stringer points out, from the hypocrisy of criticizing other candidates for moral failures. Whether admitted to or not, Spitzer had a sexual addiction problem, driving his lust for prostitutes. While there are no equivalents, Weiner’s inappropriate sexting, which continued well after he resigned from Congress June 21, 2011, shows the kind of childish exhibitionism making him unfit for public office. Continuing his inappropriate behavior well after he resigned, shows that Weiner needs some serious rehab before considering a political comeback. Unlike Weiner, Spitzer seems like he’s come to grips with his failings, seeking to make amends by serving the people of New York City.
About the Author
John M. Curtis writes politically neutral commentary analyzing spin in national and global news. He’s editor of OnlineColumnist.com and author of Dodging The Bullet and Operation Charisma.