Saturday, February 06, 2010


Please, please tell me this isn't really going to happen:

For a guy who insists he's not plotting a comeback, Eliot Spitzer sure looks like he's ready to run for something.

The 50-year-old former governor of New York, who quit in March 2008 after a federal investigation of a prostitution ring caught him patronizing the high-priced talent, has been working hard to repair his shattered image....

And even while he publicly scoffs at reports that he's considering entering a Democratic primary race against either Senator Kirsten Gillibrand or State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, Spitzer has been meeting privately with friends to discuss a possible return to public life....

That's from Lloyd Grove at the Daily Beast. I read it this morning back to back with this blog post from the Albany Times-Union, which Lucianne Goldberg's site links quite prominently today:

The story everybody’s talking about (but no one's read)

No one, that is, except for reporters, editors and lawyers at the New York Times, which has according to an avalanche of first-, second- and third-hand accounts been working on a piece about Gov. David Paterson that, depending on who you talk to, could prove to be anything from mildly embarrassing to politically apocalyptic.

The last few weeks have brought two major eruptions of rumors concerning Paterson's private life: reports of nuzzling at a New Jersey restaurant and being caught in semi-flagrante in a utility closet in the Governor's Mansion -- stories that Paterson and his press office have vehemently denied.

According to sources who have actually been interviewed for the Times' story, its central narrative is the role played by members of Paterson's inner circle in his personal and political activities....

Oh, lovely -- Paterson, who confessed to some past adulteries two years ago when he became governor, may be messing around again. And yet he's likely to to run for a full term anyway -- he's stubbornly clung to the notion that he can win even though he's been wildly unpopular, and this probably won't drive him out of the race either. He's stubborn -- I'm betting it'll make him more likely to stay in.

So we might have two Democratic adulterers running here, to go along with Scott Lee Cohen, the prostitute-beating Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor who refuses to remove himself from the ticket in Illinois.

Gah -- am I right that Republicans and right-wing bloviators might have a field day with this? Might call it a trend? (Throwing John Edwards in there, too?)

Never mind the fact that hooker client David Vitter and indirect-bribe-paying adulterer John Ensign are both likely to be reelected to the Senate this year, while Mark Sanford wasn't impeached and is still governor of South Carolina. Obviously it's OK to be an adulterer if you're a Republican.

Spitzer won't win here. Neither will Paterson. I can't possibly imagine that Cohen will win in Illinois. And yet I can easily imagine a "sexually depraved Democrats" meme taking hold via the GOP noise machine, even as Ensign and Vitter score easy victories and Sanford patiently plays out the string.

Spitzer, Paterson, Cohen: give it up, all of you. Please. Our side doesn't have a message machine that can save you, and you'll drag other Democrats down with you.

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