Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What do we do when we fall off the horse?

It was almost exactly nine months between Eliot Spitzer's prostitute-related resignation and his debut column in Slate, and now just a few months later, unnamed sources are telling the Post he thinks he can be a contender for Attorney General (again).

First of all, when Post readers start in on a piece about Eliot Spitzer, they don't want to be kept waiting for the single entendres, and Murdoch's wordsmiths don't disappoint. The fourth and seventh words of the piece are "flaccid" and "re-erecting," respectively.

But what of Spitzer, the man? I still say he's a huge scumbag. As an anonymous "longtime observer" said: "The whole idea of returning to Albany is preposterous. You can't go home again. He's a pariah. It wasn't just the prostitutes -- there was also Troopergate."

Or at least, I think the idea of him returning to Albany should be preposterous. In practice, I like his odds. He may have done all he could to squander it, but as personal political brands go "Scourge of Wall Street" is just too hot right now.

Spitzer is beloved by what I think of as the Greenwald/Digby segment of the Democratic electorate. They think the whole prostitute thing was a bad rap, noting that a) nobody really cares and b) when a Republican senator was caught doing the exact same thing he didn't even have to resign. And I agree with them on both those points. I just think Troopergate was that bad, and while his first stint as AG was useful in getting him elected governor, he didn't actually achieve much in the way of convictions or reforms.

I like the idea that sex scandals are becoming like Tommy John surgery (season-ending but not career ending, with the recovery period getting ever shorter as the technique is perfected). I just wish that this particular politician weren't so likely to make it back.


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