Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Ten Days

Speculation over whether New York Governor Eliot Spitzer will resign remains intense. Can he survive? The key is the next eight days.

It's been two days since the scandal broke. Eight more days will make ten. Ten days after a scandal breaks, it's old news. Everybody shrugs their shoulders and moves on.

On the day Bill Clinton admitted his inappropriate relationship with Monica Lewinsky, one of my colleagues started an office pool to guess his last day in office. I tried to get January 20, 2001, but it was already taken. Ten days, I said, just wait ten days. If he can survive that long, he'll make it through.

Of course it's true that the Spitzer scandal has many twists and turns to come, if he stays in office. Criminal indictment and legislative impeachment are both real possibilities. But both were in the picture for Clinton too.

Look at Larry Craig. Look at David Vitter. They toughed it out and they're still both in the Senate. Clinton toughed it out and survived impeachment.

Things look grim for Spitzer, but see how they look eight days from now.


Anonymous said...

I don't think that Spitzer's prospects are looking very bright at this point.

March 11, 2008

Anonymous said...

Eliot Spitzer was not truthful when, in resigning, he said, "I believe correctly, that people, regardless of their position or power, take responsibility for their conduct. I can and will ask no less of myself. For this reason I am resigning from the office of governor...."

He does not believe in taking responsibility for his conduct. If he truly did, he would have resigned as soon as he first violated the Mann act, or hired prostitutes with public money on public time when he was attorney general, long before he ever ran for governor.

But he is part of a very large number people to whom this behaviour (and lying about it) is - or ought to be - perfectly proper and legal, such as the majority of US Senators who voted to acquit former President Clinton for very similar behaviour.