5 Most Interesting Responses to Spitzer's Comeback
Ex-New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, notorious for stepping down from the role in 2008 after his S&M relations with prostitutes hit the front page, is here, there and everywhere at the moment. Having announced Sunday that he plans to run for the title of New York City Comptroller, Spitzer's been bouncing around the talk show circuit and making op-ed headlines all over the nation.
Here's our pick of the best reactions to Spitzer-gate, Take Two.
1. Spitzer Appears On MSNBC's Morning Joe, Bursts Into Tears
After being harshly criticized for his hypocrisy (read: visiting a prostitution ring, as his office jailed perpetrators of prostitution rings) by anchor Mark Halperin, Spitzer was then asked by Mika Brzezinski what had changed since he stepped down (read: was fired.) Spitzer teared up like a Disney princess, and responded "A lot of pain. A lot of pain. You go through that pain, and you change."
Mentions of his long-suffering wife, Silda, who was scrutinized and criticized for sticking by her husband for years: 0.
2. Wall Street Journal: SRSLY?
The WSJ's reaction (we feel) was basically this:
The paper's sharply worded editorial in response to Spitzer's proposed comeback outlined his fledging popularity even pre-scandal, his abuse of the AG's office for his own ends, his deception of the public, and his role in inflating the financial crisis. And now, the WSJ added, Spitzer "wants to control New York City's money." We're guessing that's not an endorsement?
3. Mother Jones: Might This Be A Good Thing?
Mother Jones decided to take a step back from the scandals, the weeping, and the receding hairline to look instead at Spitzer's financial policy as outlined in his Slate columns. They say his populist economic perspective may be a breath of fresh air, and sets itself apart from the mainstream opinion that, they argue, caused and inflated the financial crisis in the first place.
"In fact," said Mother Jones, "after reading his article, I'd be delighted if Barack Obama dumped Lawrence Summers and tapped Spitzer to be head of his National Economic Council."
4. Slate: Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word.
Spitzer's been waxing lyrical about forgiveness over the last few days. Like, a lot. Some key quotes:
"“This is a land of second chances. I think it is a land of forgiveness.”
“I think we all know, when you speak to people, there is forgiveness in the public."
“I have erred, I have sinned, I make no denial of that, I am asking for an opportunity to come back and serve. Five years later, I think I can ask for forgiveness.”
That's all well and good, points out Slate—who, in general, has supported Spitzer's rise from the ashes until now—but riddle us this: why show Spitzer forgiveness if he's never shown it to anyone else? Through his political terms, the editorial claims, Spitzer played hardball: rough, brash, and uncompromising.
The politician publicly got into aggressive fights with anyone who crossed him while in office, continues Slate, and even after his fall in 2010 he spat insults at current New York governor Andrew Cuomo. "He has to hope that voters are more generous with the red-hot poker than he was."
5. If Anthony Weiner Can Do It, Why Can't Spitzer?
You might remember Anthony Weiner as the disgraced House Rep who sent photos of his, um, weiner to women and accidentally posted them on his Twitter account. Having resigned in 2011 in the wake of the scandal, Weiner is now running for mayor of New York City. (He announced this via a YouTube video, which we assume means that he's become more adept at social media.)
So if Weiner can recover, why can't Spitzer?
Commentator Ben Smith summarizes in his BuzzFeed column:
"Weiner is a talented politician who left Congress with no major legislative accomplishments and everything to prove. Spitzer was a major force in American public life for eight years despite having no particular talent for politics. Weiner’s online romances brought him down because they were weird. Spitzer’s ordinary sin — any number of politicians have survived prostitution scandals — ended his tenure as governor because his governorship was already going terribly."
Spitzer himself said he didn't "see any parallels" between his and Weiner's 2013 races. Really? Even Donald Trump is appalled: