Either morals are looser in the Big Apple or memories are shorter. Nowhere else in America could not one, but two, highly-publicized cheaters make a serious bid for public office. And one is running against his former madam.
Eliot Spitzer, the former New York governor, announced Sunday night that he is making a bid for New York City’s comptroller. Mr. Spitzer was forced to resign in 2008 after being outed as “Client No. 9” in a prostitution ring sting. He was caught for violating interstate trafficking laws for bringing Ashley Dupré and to the Mayflower hotel in Washington, D.C. The disgraced governor admitted soliciting prostitutes, but was never charged.
To add to the soap opera election, Mr. Spitzer’s former madam is one of his opponents in the race. Mr. Spitzer gave authorities the names of the escort service owners and prostitutes who he had used for sex, which led to the “Manhattan Madam” Kristin Davis being convicted of promoting prostitution in the third degree.
I interviewed Ms. Davis in 2010 when she was running for New York governor. At the same time, Mr. Spitzer was named co-host of a CNN show and was mulling a race for mayor after Michael Bloomberg steps down in 2013.
“Spitzer’s criminal patterns prove that he’ll only let us down again. This shyster should not be trusted,” she said. “We’ve seen enough politicians lie their way into office, only to get indicted afterwards.”
Ms. David noted that there is a big difference in how they have lived their lives after getting caught. “I’ve redeemed myself. I served my time in Rikers, forfeited my assets,” said Ms. Davis. “Spitzer has not made any redemption — other than redeem his own public image. He hasn’t sought forgiveness.”
Now, Mr. Spitzer asks for it, but oddly in the third person. “I’m hopeful there will be forgiveness, I am asking for it,” he told the New York Times on Sunday.
Anthony Weiner — the other politician whose name is always preceded in news accounts as “disgraced” — is tied for the lead in the race for New York mayor.
The former congressman caused a fervor on Capitol Hill after he tweeted a close-up photo his crotch in gray underwear to a female college student then lied about it. As women came out with even more graphic naked photos from Mr. Weiner, he was pressured to leave Congress.
He finally admitted that, “Over the past few years, I have engaged in several inappropriate conversations conducted over Twitter, Facebook, email and occasionally on the phone with women I had met online.”
Mr. Weiner doesn’t seem to have changed much. According to the New York Observer, Mr. Weiner asked an elderly woman at a town hall in Brooklyn last month, “Were you raising your hand or flirting with me?”
These two are narcissists who need public accolades and fame to feed their egos. Spitzer told The Times that, “It happens all the time …People who walk with me on the street say, ‘People really do want you to get back in.’”
Sure, everyone deserves a second chance, but it doesn’t have to be in public office.