As the Sheriff of Wall Street slinks into the sunset, New Yorkers are left with Disbelief. Disappointment. Disgust.
When I first heard the story, I thought, somehow, that Governor Spitzer was involved in the indictment of a prostitution ring. He was, but not at all in the way I could possibly have imagined.
If it were a case of a guy falling off the fidelity wagon, the average politician might very well survive that. But when it's Eliot Spitzer, the self-proclaimed paragon of virtue, busily fighting corruption as NYS Attorney General; when it's "it'll be different" when he's governor from "Day One"; when he's well-known for chastising the moral compass of subordinates, it becomes difficult to shake a prostitution charge, and at the Mayflower Hotel in DC, of all places. Especially when it appears that there was an ongoing relationship with this prostitution ring going back to last July, not just a one-time fling on the day before Valentine's Day (how sweet) with money being laundered to hide his identity.
If the hypocrite isn't already gone this morning, he will be soon, if only because he no longer has the moral authority to govern. Yesterday, at his press conference, so short that it was shown in its entirety on the local news stations, he said in his apology that it was a private matter, and while he does have much explaining to do to his wife (one of his chief legal advisers!) and his three daughters, aged 13 to 17, he has much to explain to the rest of us.
I got this from a conservative website: "This was a sophisticated and lucrative operation with a multi-tiered management structure... It was, however, nothing more than a prostitution ring." -- Governor [then Attorney General] Eliot Spitzer (D-NY), on the 2004 break-up of a Staten Island prostitution ring
Is it strange to think that a man with daughters would be less likely to be involved with a prostitute five or six older than his oldest daughter? Perhaps. Undoubtedly, it's sexist to be surprised that a man would cheat on his quite attractive, as well as extremely intelligent, wife.
The fallout of this is that the next governor of New York, David Patterson, will be black and legally blind. Son of the NYC-based politician Basil Patterson, who ran for Lieutenant Governor back in 1970 (Arthur Goldberg and Basil lost to Nelson Rockefeller/and Malcolm Wilson), David will be a more conciliatory figure than Eliot Spitzer, who described himself a a "f***ing steamroller". Whether we'll have an on-time budget - it's due by April 1 - is up in the air.
I voted for Eliot Spitzer for governor in 2006 to try to change the dysfunctionality of Albany. That he wasn't able to do that in Year One, with distractions such as Troopergate and licenses for illegal aliens, was merely disappointing. With this revelation, I feel betrayed. And much to my surprise, angry.