Eliot Spitzer: The comeback kid?
He was linked to a high-end prostitution service, and dragged through the mud by the press. He proffered a very public apology, resigned from his post, and handed over the reins to "the accidental governor," David Paterson. He disappeared for public view. And now, according to some reports, former New York governor Eliot Spitzer is considering diving back into the political fray.
Spitzer himself has declined to comment. And in the July issue of Vanity Fair, Spitzer said he wasn't prepared for the ordeal of another campaign. "If by politics you mean running for office again, I've a hard time seeing politics as a career. I wouldn't want to put my family through the agony," he said in a response to a question on his political future.
But the New York Post today says Spitzer is considering a run at the US senate seat currently held by Kirsten Gillibrand, the Democrat appointed by Paterson in January. Spitzer is "weighing it," sources apparently told the Post. The story ran on the front page of the Post today, under the headline "2nd coming."
Let's say, for conjecture's sake, that the rumors are true. What would prompt the "Love Gov" to hop back on the campaign trail? Well, the economy, for one. As attorney general of New York, Spitzer was viewed as a crusader -- a politician unafraid to crack down on Wall Street excess. And he ran successfully for governor on a platform of budget reform. In recent months, Spitzer has positioned himself as an economic analyst. He's discussed the credit crunch with Rachel Maddow, and written for Slate on the bank bailouts.
Or, hey -- maybe Spitzer has been watching the odd behavior of the other "Lov Gov." Earlier this year, Mark Sanford of South Carolina, a well-liked governor with a good shot at the GOP presidential nomination in ‘12, admitted he'd paid a few visits to a longtime lover in Argentina. Worse yet: on at least a few occasions, Sanford had funded his affair with taxpayer dough. But Sanford didn't step down. He stayed put.
“Immediately after all this unfolded last week I had thought I would resign -- as I believe in the military model of leadership and when trust of any form is broken one lays down the sword,” Sanford explained to a puzzled audience at a press conference in June. “A long list of close friends have suggested otherwise -- that for God to really work in my life I shouldn’t be getting off so lightly.”
Maybe Spitzer has decided he feels similarly. Maybe he no longer wants to fall on his sword. Instead, maybe he wants God to work in his life, too. Still, many acquaintances are convinced Spitzer won't run for office again anytime soon. "There are people around him who want to see him [in office], and he sees himself there, too," one source told the post. "He loves to be in the limelight. But he knows it can't happen."
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