It's been five years since former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer resigned in disgrace over a widely publicized prostitution scandal. Many of us were surprised to hear that Spitzer was already re-entering the world of politics with his run for New York City Comptroller in 2013. But the latest label he's chosen for himself is even more eyebrow-raising: Eliot Spitzer, Feminist.
Spitzer appeared on MSNBC's "All In With Chris Hayes" Tuesday to discuss his decision to enter the race. During the interview, the host showed Spitzer a clip of Sonia Ossorio (President of New York feminist group NOW-NYC) accusing Spitzer of "exploiting women and girls." Hayes then asked Spitzer point-blank, "Do you consider yourself a feminist?" Spitzer didn't miss a beat when he replied, "Yes."
Spitzer cited his legislative record on choice, equal pay, anti-discrimination, anti-human trafficking as evidence of his commitment to women's interests. He had nothing to say about the feminist implications of his old habit of paying girls half his age for sex or humiliating his wife, who has been notably absent from his recent campaign events, in the public eye.
Spitzer may be doing everything he can to bury his past behavior, but some aren't going to let him forget so easily. Kristen Davis, the former madam who spent four months in jail for supplying Spitzer with prostitutes, has put together a showy campaign to run against Spitzer for the comptroller position in 2013. The first label she lists for herself on her campaign website? "Feminist."
Here's to the label proving politically advantageous.