He’s the “tough as nails” former governor of New York State.
So naturally, one of the questions I found intriguing for Eliot Spitzer was on the emotional front.
Did he shed tears in private moments following the prostitution scandal that forced his resignation five years ago? Spitzer’s answer was an unequivocal yes.
“Oh yeah, I’m not the weepy sort! I’m not John Boehner, not to be critical of him, but there have been some real tough emotions.”
Spitzer doesn’t want Boehner’s job as speaker of the house, but instead employment that until now would be considered boring by most, and that is speaking out about New York’s finances.
There we were, on the 22nd floor of a Fifth Avenue office building, just off Manhattan’s famed 57th St, and directly across from the headquarters of, of all people, Donald Trump.
To his credit Spitzer didn’t demand to know the questions in advance.
“Are there more prostitutes involved?” I asked.
Spitzer: “No, no, and….”
I cut him off and followed up with, “Only one?” and that was the only time he seemed to be caught off guard.
Spitzer: “Look, Dominic, I’ve answered all these questions many times over the years. The record on that was set forth as alleged by… in the various documents. I’m not going back to rehash that. That’s all that’s out there.”
You have to give it to Spitzer. In all likelihood he’s headed back to public office. This time as the Comptroller of New York City, controlling billions in pension funds and auditing city agencies. The comptroller also provides fiscal input on city government business dealings.
It’s ironic and sad in Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer’s case, how today’s frontrunner in the flip of a news cycle, can quickly be yesterday’s news.
Up until just a few days ago, Scott Stringer was a lock for the City Comptroller job. Now stated plainly, Stringer has been steamrolled by the “steamroller” governor who has a solid double-digit lead in the polls for the Primary.
To say Spitzer has been on a media blitz lately would be the understatement of the year. Spitzer denies former Congressman Anthony Weiner’s success in the race for mayor is behind his move, but Spitzer had to see Weiner climb in the polls.
Might the Democrats have an issue on their hands, with two out of the three officials for city-wide office making for tabloid heaven?
Some political observers argue both Spitzer and Weiner can’t be on the same ticket together, but Spitzer has a solid response.
“The public will make that determination. Look, I understand why folks say that. As I say primaries are primaries. The public will determine who is on the ticket and where, and that’s what democracy is all about.”
As I looked across at Spitzer, I couldn’t help but think about the tabloid headlines. That’s when I asked “the tabloids call you things like the “Love Gov,” does that hurt your feelings?”
Spitzer: “Sure it does….
but you can’t get into politics and worry about hurt feelings. I said last week… I guess Monday when I was dealing with the media assault, perhaps is the right word, I said i got skin as think as a Ryanosaurus. You live and learn, not to dump on the tabloids in any way. They are part of the psyche of NY . We love to read them. I’m not sure we believe them all the time. ”
Much has also been made lately about Spitzer’s wife Silda, who has yet to be seen on the campaign trial, unlike Weiner’s wife who has been out with him. I want you to read between the lines on Spitzer’s response. My take on Spitzer’s answer was that he doesn’t need his wife to fulfill the duties of City Comptroller.
Carter: “Are you and your wife still together?”
Spitzer: Here is what I will say, Dominic. We have lived through a lot, and at a certain point I feel it’s fair for me to say that our private lives are our private lives, and we just don’t need to answer more. We’re answered all those questions. The answer is yes, but I think we have answered enough. I’m not running for president where there is a first lady capacity. We’re been through the media.”
The primary that will basically elect the next City Comptroller for New York City is only two months away.