Culture of personal corruption to make an encore in New York?

People often remark on how egotistical politicans can be, but to a certain extent it’s a necessary defense mechanism.  Anyone worried about the slings and arrows of political debate won’t last long in public office, either by election or by appointment.  However, for some, the defense mechanism turns to blinders as they embarrass themselves, their families, and their communities, sometimes without even knowing it.

Case in point – Client #9:

Disgraced former Gov. Eliot Spitzer has been privately talking with friends about a possible comeback, and is considering a run for statewide office next year, several sources told The Post.

Less than 18 months after he left Albany in a prostitution scandal, Spitzer has held informal discussions in recent weeks about the possibility of making a bid for state comptroller or the US Senate seat currently held by Kirsten Gillibrand, sources said.

The hooker-happy Democrat has also discussed his own halfway-decent poll numbers in recent surveys, which have shown him more popular than Gov. Paterson, whose own numbers have tanked.

Well, being more popular than David Paterson in New York politics is akin to being a better batter than Mario Mendoza.  In this case, it says a lot more about Paterson’s political future than Spitzer’s.  If Spitzer has been fooled into thinking that he can re-enter electoral politics by a comparison between the incompetent and the corrupt, then those blinders are firmly in place.

Let’s recall what exactly forced Spitzer out of office in the first place.  It was not the revelation of extramarital sex, which would be enough to end most political careers (such as Mark Sanford).  Spitzer had built a career from crusading against prostitution rings, but got outed as a regular customer of a high-end call girl.  He not only broke the law, he broke the law he himself made a career out of enforcing.

It’s not only hypocritical, it’s corrupt.  And worst of all, Spitzer dragged his wife onto the dais with him when he resigned instead of standing by himself and taking his medicine.  That takes a special kind of testicular inadequacy, one that should stick to him like a political tattoo.

Of course, the re-entry of Eliot Spitzer into politics will be a great event – for the comedians.  Jim Geraghty suggests a new campaign slogan: Because New York state government needs some new tricks.
I’d suggest this: Get Spitzer off the streets and back into the parlor. Feel free to suggest your own in the comments.

Update: I’m getting a few e-mails asking me how I feel about Senator David Vitter (R-LA), who admitted to infidelities but didn’t quite admit to allegations that he frequented a prostitution ring.  While it’s not quite the same thing — Vitter never made a public career out of prosecuting hookers and pimps, like Spitzer did — I’d say that if he did participate in the ring, he shouldn’t be in the Senate.  Surely our bar should be at least that high.