Will Spitzer resign — or deploy the Clinton/Craig strategy?

posted at 7:05 am on March 11, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Eliot Spitzer has remained governor longer than most people expected after 4 pm ET yesterday. When the news broke that the former prosecutor who once bragged of busting a prostitution ring had recently decided to patronize another, most people assumed that his admission would be quickly followed by an exit from the political stage. However, despite numerous calls for his resignation, Spitzer has not yet departed:

Stunned politicians in both parties last night called on Gov. Spitzer to resign.

Democratic Assemblyman John McEneny (Albany) said:

“I don’t think anyone remembers anything like this. The fact that the governor has a reputation as a reformer and there is a certain assumption as attorney general that you’re Caesar’s wife [above suspicion]. It’s a different element than if you were an accountant.”…

Assembly Republican leader James Tedisco – who had once faced a Spitzer tirade about being a “f – – -ing steamroller” – said:

“For the good of his family, for the good of our state, for the good of the governorship, Eliot Spitzer must resign immediately. He is unfit to lead our state and unfit to hold public office.”

The New York Times editorial board, however, seems to think that Spitzer can rescue himself, although it will take “a strong argument” to do so. They attack Spitzer for calling his prostitution habit a “private matter”, but assert that other politicians have survived such scandals:

It is likely that every aspect of Mr. Spitzer’s other life as Client 9 for the Emperor’s Club V.I.P. — as he has been identified by law enforcement officials — every text message and other secretive communication will be made public. Any politician would have a full-time job just dealing with such revelations. There have been elected officials, over the years, who have survived scandals of this sort. But for Mr. Spitzer, who runs a large and complex state, the burden is especially heavy to show that he has not lost the credibility to push for change, a sound budget and good government, as he promised so confidently a year ago. …

Mr. Spitzer did not seem to understand on Monday what he owed the public — a strong argument for why he should be trusted again. The longer he hesitates, it becomes a harder case to make.

This, of course, is absurd. Had Spitzer turned his presser yesterday into essentially a campaign speech to convince people of his indispensability, it would have been the height of arrogance. Spitzer needed to humble himself in front of the media and the public, apologize to New York’s citizens, and try to douse the fire as best he could. Spitzer managed to do that, but what comes next?

Most people expect a resignation, but they expected that yesterday. At least for the moment, Spitzer appears willing to see if he can survive this and at least finish his one term as governor. How can he do that and retain any credibility? We have seen the start of this process already in Spitzer’s speech, and it appears he will rely on the strategies deployed by two national politicians who have survived their own sex scandals by claiming them as “private” matters that have no impact on their performance in office.

Bill Clinton broke no laws, but his affair with a young intern certainly reflected on his judgment and character, both as a professional and as a person. Having casual affairs with starry-eyed staffers hardly reflects well on any executive; it sets bad examples and amounts to little more than exploitation. When it results in perjury, as it did with Clinton, it ceases being a private matter, but the Clintons sold the entire scandal as nothing more than a prurient irrelevancy played up by their political opponents to ruin him. In fact, they’re still selling that notion — and Spitzer might notice that people are buying it.

Larry Craig also faced political ruin after pleading guilty to disorderly conduct in a Minneapolis airport restroom. Despite his refusal to refute the allegations in court, he claimed that he had not tried to signal an undercover officer for gay sex,but instead merely took a “wide stance” on the toilet. He promised to resign, then failed to do so — and more or less just waited out the outrage by taking a very low profile for a few months. He remains in the Senate until the end of his term in 2009.

Can Spitzer outwait the outrage of the public? Can he just offer a low profile while New Yorkers move on to the next outrage? Can he eventually convince people that his use of prostitutes is just a private matter? I suspect he’ll try.

UPDATE: Commenters remind me of one example I missed: Senator David Vitter (R-LA). Last year, phone records arose that linked Vitter to a call-girl “escort service” ring in New Orleans from a few years earlier. He used a curious combination of denial and apology, and remains in the Senate.


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Comments

Don’t you really feel for the Mrs. and his family? I would like to see Mrs. Spitzer take out a bottle of seltzer water and give him a good Spritzing, right there, on national TV. Talk about classic TV.

saved on March 11, 2008 at 7:07 AM

Better question: What are the chances that Bill Clinton is Client #1??

manfriend on March 11, 2008 at 7:20 AM

Sure thing.

Eliot Spitzer’s conduct/criminal behavior at issue here is just as “private” a matter as all the crimes committed by all the criminals he prosecuted over the years.

The commission of a crime is not a “private” matter as the Looney Left likes to portray it. It is always a matter of public concern and public scrutiny.

seanrobins on March 11, 2008 at 7:21 AM

David Vitter certainly got away with it with full blessing of the GOP. He is considered a conservative and suffered very little for his actions.
Had he not run specifically on family values and made direct references to Clinton’s behavior in his early campaigns it wouldn’t bother me nearly as much.
But he did and the hypocrisy the GOP showed was telling. He is not up for reelection until 2010 — he is certainly taking the wait it out approach. Had he been someone like Chafee I don’t think he would have gotten a pass.
Until the GOP is willing to clean its houses regardless of Democratic reaction for similar circumstances they deserve to be lumped into the same low opinion John Q. Public has of our elected officials.
For those who wish to argue “but but it wasn’t the same as Spitzer” please save your breath. It was almost identical with the exception that Spitzer’s prostitute was recorded.

Bradky on March 11, 2008 at 7:22 AM

What party is he again? Media didn’t mention it.

fossten on March 11, 2008 at 7:23 AM

Can Spitzer outwait the outrage of the public?

It’s the lack of outrage that allows Spitzer and others to remain. They do so with society’s permission.

I think we need a new de Tocqueville to accurately chronicle the pulse of this country. Seems like many Americans are living in the country of the past, or of their dreams. The Spitzer saga and the reaction to it is becoming as commonplace as traffic.

JiangxiDad on March 11, 2008 at 7:24 AM

Impeachment procedures will likely begin if he doesn’t resign. I think at the moment he’s trying to figure a way out that doesn’t involve resigning.

If there is an indictment, then it’s almost a certainty. It moves out of the realm of personal morality at that point. If not, this could drag on for a very long time.

Asher on March 11, 2008 at 7:27 AM

The New York Times editorial board, however, seems to think that Spitzer can rescue himself, although it will take “a strong argument” to do so. They attack Spitzer for calling his prostitution habit a “private matter”, but assert that other politicians have survived such scandals.

Hmmmm. And tell me, NYT, how many of these other politicians who have survived such scandals as this one happened to be REPUBLICAN? I’ll bet you $100, with absolutely no fear of losing it, that in your eyes, the answer will be 0!

I also notice the NYT is kind of supporting SpitWadzer without actually going all ga-ga and splashing on their front page on how all this was a set-up and that he will be exonerated and how dare anyone even remotely suggest that he did the wild thing with any of these vile women and this is a right-wing conspiracy….etc.etc.etc. Instead, they seem to be standing on the sidelines, waiting to see what the eventual fallout will be here.

Just like the courageous, moral, honest journalists they pretend to be.

pilamaye on March 11, 2008 at 7:27 AM

The New York Times editorial board, however, seems to think that Spitzer can rescue himself, although it will take “a strong argument” to do so.

Spitzer, since almost day 1 as gov, has heen hos approval ratings slide lower and lower month by month. He didn’t keep any of his campaign promises *gasp* and this latest scandal will probably do him in, since he admitted to being involved. It’s a prez election year and neither party needs a high profile scandal case in office.

I’ll go ahead an predict by the end of the week, Spitzer resigns.

JetBoy on March 11, 2008 at 7:28 AM

Hmmmm. And tell me, NYT, how many of these other politicians who have survived such scandals as this one happened to be REPUBLICAN? I’ll bet you $100, with absolutely no fear of losing it, that in your eyes, the answer will be 0!

pilamaye on March 11, 2008 at 7:27 AM

See my comments at 7:22 re Vitter and send me your bank wiring info so I can collect that 100 dollars.

Bradky on March 11, 2008 at 7:34 AM

After seeing that picture of him, I fully expect his next comment to be, “gollum. gollum.”

– The Cat

MirCat on March 11, 2008 at 7:39 AM

For those who wish to argue “but but it wasn’t the same as Spitzer” please save your breath. It was almost identical with the exception that Spitzer’s prostitute was recorded.

Bradky on March 11, 2008 at 7:22 AM

Are you arguing with yourself? I know plenty of people that called for Vitter to resign. But this case is somewhat different in that an actual indictment could be coming down and the Republicans in Albany have indicated that if he doesn’t resign regardless, they will move to impeach him.

The facts may be similar, but the realities are quite different. Your point eludes me completely.

Asher on March 11, 2008 at 7:42 AM

Several media outlets are calling this scandal a “tragedy”. What a crock!

Unexpected death = tragedy
Miscarriage = tragedy
Innocent lives lost on 9/11 = tragedy

Willful misconduct and betrayal with full knowledge of likely consequences = NOT a tragedy (only tragically stupid)

kooly on March 11, 2008 at 7:43 AM

See my comments at 7:22 re Vitter and send me your bank wiring info so I can collect that 100 dollars.

Bradky on March 11, 2008 at 7:34 AM

I’m not sure that what Vitter did amounts to surviving.

– The Cat

MirCat on March 11, 2008 at 7:43 AM

Of course Eliot Spitzer has not resigned. He’s Eliot Sputzer!

Not only is he above the Law, he’s above all expectations that anyone is above the Law, especially him jus’ ‘cuz he’s Eliot Spitzer.

This guy as maggot ten years ago as Atty General and he’s, amazingly, an even bigger maggot as Governor.

How his wife kept her composer thoughtout his anemic address is beyond me. She should’ve clocked him half-way through and no man or woman, Republican or Democrat, would have blamed her for it.

Tuning Spork on March 11, 2008 at 7:46 AM

Asher on March 11, 2008 at 7:42 AM

Oh please. The Republicans in Albany are going to impeach him because he is a Democrat. They are going to actually take a legislative action if he doesn’t resign.

In Vitter’s case you are being so very Clintonian in your defense. “He didn’t break a law so you know, it’s all good, besides we need as many Republicans in the Senate and can’t afford to lose any”.
Not “Vitter ran on family values and integrity. He exercised neither and needs to go.”
Not one Republican threatened censure or impeachment to force him to resign.
Hypocrisy is the only accurate description.

Bradky on March 11, 2008 at 7:47 AM

Resign, He’s a (D), his numbers just went through the roof!

Alden Pyle on March 11, 2008 at 7:47 AM

I’m not sure that what Vitter did amounts to surviving.
MirCat on March 11, 2008 at 7:43 AM

His comment was

how many of these other politicians who have survived such scandals as this one happened to be REPUBLICAN?

His implication was that Republicans are held more accountable than Dems in these matters. Clearly that is not the case with Craig or Vitter.
I’m not defending Spitzer, nor will I defend hypocrisy by either party.

Bradky on March 11, 2008 at 7:51 AM

Where to start,The very thing Liberal’s were against
was doing surveillance of communication sources,but this
was a wiretapping,and the very thing they were against
did him in!

Spitzer will resign by midnight,he’s up the creek without
a paddle.Here’s were Spitzer is between a hard place, a ahum
and a rock.He’s got money transfers to shell companys with
which they don’t exist,he has some explaining to do.

And the best part of this is it’s happening during the
election cycle,what a golden oppurtunity it is for
Republicans to get the voting message out there,and get moving while the Liberal Party emplodes and tears itself
apart!

canopfor on March 11, 2008 at 7:56 AM

Yeah, I think Vitter/Craig strategy is more apt. Clinton didn’t break any laws when he got a well, you know, from Lewisnky. And Vitter was busted in a prostitution scandal, as Spitzer has been. So, he’s a much better comparison than Clinton.

Since we’re on the topic of Vitter, I love this quote from him. Context: He replaced a congressman who stepped down after an adultery scandal in 1999:

It’s obviously a tremendous loss for the state. I think Livingston’s stepping down makes a very powerful argument that Clinton should resign as well and move beyond this mess

And MirCat, it’s simple: Keeping one’s elected position=surviving.

As for Spitzer stepping down? I’ve never been a fan of calling for someone to step down (unless I happen to be a constituent of that person and feel they should step down). Most of the time, it’s a knee-jerk political reaction. The second someone gets a speeding ticket, people start calling for them to step down. (I recall Harry Reid getting on a roll with these calls a few years ago).

I don’t mind Vitters keeping his job, but the fact that he did so exposed his call for Clinton to step down as total political BS.

That being said, if Spitzer broke the law, I would think he would have to step down — especially since he broke a law he has prosecuted in the past.

Tom_Shipley on March 11, 2008 at 7:58 AM

Where to start,The very thing Liberal’s were against
was doing surveillance of communication sources,but this
was a wiretapping,and the very thing they were against
did him in!

First off, liberals are not against wiretapping. Many are against Constitutionally illegal wiretapping, though.

And, as far as the investigation into Spitzer goes, this is an interesting article:

http://harpers.org/archive/2008/03/hbc-90002589

Why was justice investigating Spitzer?

Tom_Shipley on March 11, 2008 at 8:01 AM

Spitzer should have got the bum’s rush for using the State Police as his private detectives looking for dirt on the Assembly leader. This is simply another example of what a low life he is – but not the sole reason he should go.

Although trying to say this is like Vitter or Craig is a bit much considering Spitzer prosecuted prostitution and pandering. That extends a bit above mere hypocrisy about “family values”…

major john on March 11, 2008 at 8:05 AM

Spitzer’s only line of defense here is for his wife to come out with a statement explaining some physiological disorder preventing her from fulfilling the sexual aspect of her conjugal “duties.”

It’s a desperate play but it would probably work.

12thman on March 11, 2008 at 8:05 AM

Some much for the most powerfull woman in the universe,
looks like Nacy Pelosi has some house cleaning issues
that of her own party,and the kicker to this is she said
it was going to be the most ethical house and also bragged
about cleaning up the corruption!

canopfor on March 11, 2008 at 8:07 AM

Just another corrupt and incompetent Democrat. Only difference is that this clown got caught.

Anyone thinking they are going to get “change” by electing Democrats to office is correct – change for the far worse.

Democrat pols are corrupt as a matter of course. You don’t get to run in that party, unless you are dirty.

As far as incompetence, the prevailing far left ideology of the absolutely worthless Democrat Party provides for that. They have the wrong answers to every question worth asking.

NoDonkey on March 11, 2008 at 8:14 AM

canopfor on March 11, 2008 at 8:07 AM

This really doesn’t have much to do with Nancy. Spitzer is the governor of New York, not a congressman.

12thman on March 11, 2008 at 8:18 AM

Will Spitzer resign — or deploy the Clinton/Craig strategy?

Maybe he’ll depoly the “OJ in Vegas” strategy …

It was a STING … “Operation Pricey Skank” !

Chimp 6 on March 11, 2008 at 8:20 AM

NoDonkey on March 11, 2008 at 8:14 AM

Got partisan?

There really are two Americas. One that believes a (D) or an (R) makes or breaks you and one that doesn’t.

12thman on March 11, 2008 at 8:20 AM

The clock is ticking. Every lawyer representing a john arrested in NYS for solicitation of prostitution from now on will request that their client’s arraignment be scheduled right after Eliot Spitzer’s. If they don’t it will be cause for appeal: incompetence on the part of the john’s lawyer.

Dusty on March 11, 2008 at 8:23 AM

Spitzer is a super delegate who supports Hillary. I f he resigns he would lose his super delegate status.

His would be replacement, David Paterson, is a black man who could very well support Obama. He’s from Harlem, though, which is Clinton country. This is just speculation, but it does make things more interesting.

Tinian on March 11, 2008 at 8:23 AM

The Republicans in Albany are going to impeach him because he is a Democrat.

In Vitter’s case you are being so very Clintonian in your defense. “He didn’t break a law so you know, it’s all good, besides we need as many Republicans in the Senate and can’t afford to lose any”.

Not “Vitter ran on family values and integrity. He exercised neither and needs to go.” Not one Republican threatened censure or impeachment to force him to resign.
Hypocrisy is the only accurate description.

Bradky on March 11, 2008 at 7:47 AM

Heh. Republicans in Albany.

Bradky, you’re at your worst when you go partisan Democrat; you know that, don’t you?

You’re equating a Senator with a girlfriend to a U.S. Attorney and Governor with a prostitute. Tell me you’re just kidding, or got caught up in one of your own partisan tit-for-tat games.

Spitzer is hated just as much by Democrats as he is by Republicans. He is just a power-mad, hateful man.

Jaibones on March 11, 2008 at 8:26 AM

Spitzer’s only line of defense here is for his wife to come out with a statement explaining some physiological disorder preventing her from fulfilling the sexual aspect of her conjugal “duties.”

It’s a desperate play but it would probably work.

12thman on March 11, 2008 at 8:05 AM

or, he was doing research
or, he was investigating the ring himself
or, he’s a gay-American trying some therapy
or, the driver’s license fiasco temporarily unbalanced him
or, the mean-spiritedness of the Republicans got to him

JiangxiDad on March 11, 2008 at 8:28 AM

Personally, I couldn’t care less what this oversexed pig does with his life. What angers me is that we citizens are burdened by his perverted, irresponsible behavior. He betrayed his family and the people of his state and should be run out of office never to be seen or heard from again.

There must be a “dirtbag” gene that favors the genetic structure of politicians.

rplat on March 11, 2008 at 8:30 AM

cbs reporting Spitzer likely now to resign:

http://wcbstv.com/breakingnewsalerts/spitzer.prostitution.ring.2.673848.html

JiangxiDad on March 11, 2008 at 8:43 AM

This really doesn’t have much to do with Nancy.Spitzer
is the governor of New York,not a congressman.

12thman on March 11,2008 at 8:18AM.

12thman:Yes I know Spitzer is the governor of New York
and not a congressman.I was just trying to say
that as Spitzer is a Liberal,Nancy talks about
corruption and ethics,Spitzer is in the Liberal
Party.

If this was a Republican governor, the Liberal
Party would be demanding that Republican to
immediately resign,and the Liberal media,like
CNN would be in “BreakingNews Crisis mode”!

canopfor on March 11, 2008 at 8:43 AM

I don’t know what all the fuss is about. He’s a democrat. He didn’t do anything wrong.

/rose colored media glasses.

CurtZHP on March 11, 2008 at 8:51 AM

In reality, it won’t be the prostituion angle that brings him down. They were investigating him for improper cash transactions and THAT led to the prostitution ring, not the other way around. If there is a crime related to the cash transactions in some form or another and he is indicted he’ll resign as part of some deal made with prosecutors.

But infidelity and prostitution are resume enhancers for Dhims, so those in themselves are not problems.

As to Dhims not being against wiretapping. Of course they are.

Okay, so maybe I should clarify. They are against wiretaps being used to determine if anyone is doing anything illegal, and especially against suspected terrorists and Americans who are either terrorists themselves or terrorist supporters.

Darksean on March 11, 2008 at 9:05 AM

The fact that he frequented a prostitution ring doesn’t faze me much. The fact that he’s the most sanctimonious, conniving, dirty-pool playing tool to come down the pike in quite some time does faze me. If it were anyone but the “F-ing steamroller,” I’d say, “Eh.” But not for this guy.

Sugar Land on March 11, 2008 at 9:10 AM

Is this just about men in power, or is there something that the rest of us guys can learn from this? Click my username for some thoughts.

jgapinoy on March 11, 2008 at 9:22 AM

Security clearances get pulled for doing what this clown did – not just because it’s immoral, but more because it opens the Governor up to blackmail.

This crime syndicate had enough on Spitzer in one transaction to make him completely in their mercy.

“We have photos, we have credit card transactions, we have enough to drum you out of politics. Do X favor for us, or we go to the press.”

That’s why this idiot needs to be drummed out of office. We cannot have politicians in command of billions of dollars of state resources, to put themselves square in a position to be blackmailed.

NoDonkey on March 11, 2008 at 9:28 AM

“Got partisan?

There really are two Americas. One that believes a (D) or an (R) makes or breaks you and one that doesn’t.”

I’m not so much a Republican as I am an anti-Democrat.

I despise the Democrat Party and each and every politician involved in it.

Throughout my lifetime, they’ve continuously proven themselves to be corrupt, incompetent, morally and intellectually bankrupt, sociopaths, perverts and traitors.

The current bunch in Congress is the most powerful collection of the least qualified people in history, ever assembled.

What is there in the Democrat Congress other than trust-fund millionaires/billionaires, trophy wives whose billionaire husbands want them out of the house, thieving trial lawyers, geriatric hippies, geriatric Klansman and race baiting poverty pimps?

Worthless people all. Republicans have many flaws, granted, but there is no one currently elected as a Democrat who isn’t either an absolute idiot or complete scum, usually both.

Torpedoing Spitzer’s career is a triumph for all Americans. Now he can slither off and sue innocent people for a living. Another worthless Democrat disposed of.

NoDonkey on March 11, 2008 at 9:35 AM

Okay, so maybe I should clarify. They are against wiretaps being used to determine if anyone is doing anything illegal, and especially against suspected terrorists and Americans who are either terrorists themselves or terrorist supporters.

Yep — when wiretapping is done illegally against Newt Gingrich it’s okay.

Tinian on March 11, 2008 at 9:37 AM

Spitzer’s only line of defense here is for his wife to come out with a statement explaining some physiological disorder preventing her from fulfilling the sexual aspect of her conjugal “duties.”

There is a name for this disorder.

It’s called “Feminism”.

dinasour on March 11, 2008 at 9:43 AM

Joe Bruno had the bead on this guy all along, nobody wanted to listen him though.

Lunkinator on March 11, 2008 at 9:51 AM

Arrogant bastard. Good riddance.

D2Boston on March 11, 2008 at 9:57 AM

It’s a tough call. I think a conviction is an automatic call for resignation. Facing indictment, that’s questionable. You can be prosecuted selectively, but it’s very difficult to govern when there is a growing cloud of uncertainly following you in all of your duties as an elected official.

If you’re convicted and you want to run for office again, do it. If the people vote for a convicted felon there really isn’t much that can be done about it. Florida voters have been sending an impeached judge to Congress for a half dozen terms now.

Vitter probably should resign. He hasn’t been indicted, let alone convicted of anything, but he’s way too close to someone that has been indicted and agreed to a plea bargain. Associations with persons convicted of federal crimes is a very bad sign.

gabriel sutherland on March 11, 2008 at 10:08 AM

Maybe he took encouragement from a supportive call from Congressman William Jefferson.

eeyore on March 11, 2008 at 10:23 AM

Tell the putz to go back to whatever corporate law firm he crawled out of.

mojo on March 11, 2008 at 10:25 AM

The shame is that his 3 daughters are going to have to grow thick skins pretty fast. From what I’ve read his wife urged him not to resign too quickly so she’s made her own bed. I do feel sorry for the girls though.

TooTall on March 11, 2008 at 10:34 AM

The best Spitzer(D-NY)quote:

The mayor, he said, “is wrong at every level — dead wrong, factually wrong, legally wrong, morally wrong, ethically wrong.”

Take a long hard look in the mirror Mr. Spitzer.

dentalque on March 11, 2008 at 10:36 AM

LOL the “smartest” governor wanted unsafe sex, according to fox news (theres a PDF!) and now he wont resign. The dems have no shame whatsoever.

The repubs are going to impeach him. Hmmmm this all has a familiar ring to it…

dogsoldier on March 11, 2008 at 10:44 AM

His first line of defense will be an appearance on Oprah declaring himself a “Heterosexual-American” and a really nice guy.

PattyJ on March 11, 2008 at 10:45 AM

Untrained in the Clinton Lip-Bite-n-Curl™, Spitzer strained several facial muscles and had to be hospitalized.

saint kansas on March 11, 2008 at 10:47 AM

New York Republicans calling for impeachment is a mistake. Let Spitzer dig his own grave. He will fall into it eventually. Trying to help him shovel or push him into it will grow his list of allies that will stand up to defend him.

gabriel sutherland on March 11, 2008 at 11:19 AM

NoDonkey on March 11, 2008 at 9:35 AM

Why don’t you tell us how you really feel? Just being an ahole; but I agree with you. There are no upright, straight forward, or statesmen people in that party.

cjs1943 on March 11, 2008 at 11:21 AM

What about Gov McCreevey of NJ? Didn’t he have an adulterous relationship with a man? No one’s mentioning him.

jgapinoy on March 11, 2008 at 11:22 AM

jgapinoy: McGreevey did have an affair with a man that he appointed to be his Homeland Security adviser. I don’t know if McGreevey committed any crimes though. His crimes were crimes against his family and political crimes of appointing cronies as political favors to his donors.

gabriel sutherland on March 11, 2008 at 11:33 AM

“I don’t know if McGreevey committed any crimes though.”

We shouldn’t accept the Democrat’s definition of what constitutes an offense which should exclude a politician from office.

There are no “private affairs” when you become the steward of billions of dollars of taxpayer money and all that goes along with governing a state or a country.

You do anything to compromise yourself, as in banging interns, having extra-marital affairs, etc., patronizing hookers, illegal gambling, that should be it – you are out of here.

Because politicians are replaceable. No one will ever miss Eliot Spitzer or any other Democrat, for that matter.

If politicians want to have their little vices, I have an idea for them – don’t run for elected office.

Instead, we want to make exceptions for these clowns to keep them in office. Ridiculous. There are plenty of good candidates for elective office who don’t have illegal vices.

NoDonkey on March 11, 2008 at 11:54 AM

Innocent lives lost on 9/11 = tragedy
kooly on March 11, 2008 at 7:43 AM

Sorry but 9/11 = Attack
Quit calling it a tragedy.

faraway on March 11, 2008 at 12:05 PM

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,336688,00.htmlNY GOD leader says “Resign or get Impeached!

upinak on March 11, 2008 at 12:07 PM

opps GOP.. sorry eating here.

upinak on March 11, 2008 at 12:08 PM

If politicians want to have their little vices, I have an idea for them – don’t run for elected office.

Instead, we want to make exceptions for these clowns to keep them in office. Ridiculous. There are plenty of good candidates for elective office who don’t have illegal vices.

NoDonkey on March 11, 2008 at 11:54 AM

If they didn’t have the money and power of their positions they might not be able to afford their vices.

Corsair on March 11, 2008 at 12:18 PM

Spitzer is a reprehensible weenie who misused the N.Y. attorney general’s office, so he kind of is getting what was coming to him.

But there are aspects of this case that stink on ice and it will be only a matter of time — a short time, I suspect — before it is revealed as a politically tainted prosecution.

sdm on March 11, 2008 at 12:47 PM

breaking on CNN

Spitzer and Paterson in transition talks

windansea on March 11, 2008 at 12:52 PM

No one resigns anymore, surely?

BJ laid down the foundations.

Ares on March 11, 2008 at 12:55 PM

For those who wish to argue “but but it wasn’t the same as Spitzer” please save your breath. It was almost identical with the exception that Spitzer’s prostitute was recorded.

Bradky on March 11, 2008 at 7:22 AM

In full disclosure, Vitter is my Congressman. I’ve never liked the man and didn’t vote for him when he took over from Bob Livingston as Congressman either because he comes off as slimy and opportunistic (not in the good way).

That being said, you are flat-out wrong that you can equate the two situations. Vitter’s infidelity was dealt with as a private matter YEARS before it came to public light. It was only last month that Spitzer was checking into the Mayflower under a false name and putting money into his whoring account.

Also different is that Vitter is a Senator and Spitzer a governor. The roles they play in public life are completely different. It is far easier to womanize from the lofty heights of the Senate because you have 99 others to cover for you. A governor has to propose legislation and work far more closely with others as a “leader” than a Senator does. How does Spitzer have any credibility after a story like this?

Finally, and perhaps the most significant difference, is that the FBI was involved because Governor Happy Pants was doing money transfers so strange the bank felt compelled to report the transactions. You dismiss this factor in your support of Spitzer but that is dishonest. Vitter’s infidelity was discreet, Spitzers was blatant and might well have involved public funds. It is necessary to at least ensure that Spitzer isn’t corrupt.

I will give your hero credit in this regard. He didn’t purchase one of those DC hookers but, rather, imported from New York. I’m sure the public will give him a complete pass since he bought locally.

highhopes on March 11, 2008 at 12:59 PM

Why isn’t he in cuffs? Why does he get to decide whether he’ll resign or not? Where is the justice department? Why don’t they prosecute Democratic officeholders for lawbreaking (among othe lapses)? Why’s Cold Cash Jefferson still in Congress?

Why isn’t anyone asking Her Thighness or Obama whether they’ll pardon Spitzer in return for his Superdelegate vote?

Why aren’t Dems being put on the spot and asked “The govenor of NY just exploited the weakest among us, are you going to demand his arrest and prosecution or are you in favor of letting it slide?”

Why the hell aren’t the Republicans crucifying the Dems over this? Why can’t conservatives in NY get their damn act toghether? Especially with all the corruption running rampant in Albany?

Iblis on March 11, 2008 at 1:08 PM

Can Spitzer outwait the outrage of the public? Can he just offer a low profile while New Yorkers move on to the next outrage? Can he eventually convince people that his use of prostitutes is just a private matter? I suspect he’ll try.

I suspect he’ll fail. There is more than just infidelity involved here. The use of prostitutes may be a private matter but the FBI wasn’t tracking this prostitition ring because they wanted to nail people for doing something that was a private matter. There is also the hypocrisy angle when a self-proclaimed moralist like Spitzer talks about holding public officials accountable for their actions and then does the exact opposite. Finally there is the credibility factor. How does Spitzer govern when he has been morally and ethically compromised by his own actions?

highhopes on March 11, 2008 at 1:20 PM

Why isn’t anyone asking Her Thighness or Obama whether they’ll pardon Spitzer in return for his Superdelegate vote?

Clinton anyway refuses to comment. The irony is delicious. The one thing that Hillary has actual experience in and she clams up.

highhopes on March 11, 2008 at 1:22 PM

“If they didn’t have the money and power of their positions they might not be able to afford their vices.”

Most of these guys come from old money – Spitzer does and he looks at his government paycheck like the rest of us look at clipping coupons to get $.02 off on wax paper. Pittance.

Besides the old money, Spitzer could make millions at a private law firm.

These guys go for public office for the power and publicity. You don’t get your face on the front page of the NY Times for bilking insurance companies as a trial lawyer, you get it there by being Governor. Double-edged sword for Spitzer.

NoDonkey on March 11, 2008 at 1:23 PM

Why was justice investigating Spitzer?

Tom_Shipley on March 11, 2008 at 8:01 AM

Tom,

So glad you asked, as I debunk Scott Horton’s piece here and here.

Karl on March 11, 2008 at 2:06 PM

When was the perjury law revoked?

corona on March 11, 2008 at 4:13 PM

Spitzer just announced that future press conferences will be held at the Mayflower Hotel.

Ted Kennedy just gave Spitzer his tipsy endorsement that “Eliot now seems just like one of the family” and that Spitzer “should cross those bridges ahead when he comes to them” and “not take a back seat to anyone.”

viking01 on March 11, 2008 at 4:41 PM

Spitzer looks a little like that old man in the old westerns. Gabby Hayes/Haynes? You know the one who could almost swallow his nose with his bottom lip.

THE CHOSEN ONE on March 11, 2008 at 5:51 PM

Spitzer is hated just as much by Democrats as he is by Republicans. He is just a power-mad, hateful man.

Jaibones on March 11, 2008 at 8:26 AM

Jaibones, you misread what I read. Vitter was with a prostitute not a girlfriend, possibly more than one. He lied about it and ran on a family values campaign specifically contrasting himself with Clinton.
He got a pass because of his stance on immigration if you ask me.
But if you want to defend him go ahead. I think you read this one wrong.

Bradky on March 11, 2008 at 8:52 PM

What about Gov McCreevey of NJ? Didn’t he have an adulterous relationship with a man? No one’s mentioning him.

Ummmm, McCreevey WAS forced to step down.

poodlemom on March 11, 2008 at 8:54 PM

Bradky on March 11, 2008 at 8:52 PM

Fair enough, but I thought he was seeing the same chick for months. Didn’t know she was a hooker. But no matter, I have no use for the family values crowd that can’t follow their own rules, and I sure don’t want to be on record as defending Vitter.

What these jerks do to their wives and daughters is a mortal and moral sin. I feel bad for Spitzer, but only as a husband and father of girls, that he is exposed as such a liar and fraud in public. And I am trying to separate that from his reprehensible conduct as a prosecutor. He is a monster. Do you think he’s a speed freak?

Jaibones on March 11, 2008 at 9:41 PM

Jaibones on March 11, 2008 at 9:41 PM

No idea as to whether he is a speed freak – 80 grand on hookers — geez that would almost finish off my mortgage!
I hear you about the daughters though – have two grown ones and am in lockstep with you on your view.

Bradky on March 12, 2008 at 1:27 AM

When I saw the above all attitude of Spitzer after trying to get driver’s license for illegal’s, I learned a lot about the man. Even though the majority of New Yorker’s, including dog catchers, were against it(nothing against dog catchers) his arrogance lit up the sky.

Somehow what goes around comes around. The only people who I truly feel sorry for are his family, who seem like real quality types. Unfortunately, lots of men tend to think with a brain other than what’s upstairs.

tazmebro on March 12, 2008 at 4:42 AM