In the past few weeks, Eliot Spitzer has been all around us. His Slate columns have become a must-read. He was against AIG before it was cool. He was railing against the excesses of Wall Street while everyone else was enjoying the fake boom.
If it were not for the scandal that forced him to resign, this would have been Eliot Spitzer’s time. Vice Presidential buzz would be growing; he would be one of the go-to guys that Obama would call to give him cover as he dealt with Wall Street. It is based on this that David Rothkopf at Foreign Policy listed Spitzer as one of the “losers of the week” saying that:
[T]he A.I.G. scandal and the collapse of Wall Street could have been [Spitzer’s] apotheosis, the moment the howling dogs of ambition in his breast might have finally gotten enough red meat of press exposure.
But despite his current disgraced status – and no doubt in part because of it – he has been able to talk more candidly about the “real scandal” of the AIG bailout: that it “has been a way to hide an enormous second round of cash to the same group that had received TARP money already.”
This sets up Spitzer to now say, “sunlight is the best disinfectant“! Ironic for a man brought down by too much sunlight.
I’m going to repeat what I said before – as the conventional wisdom states that the only things that can truly destroy a political career are “a dead woman or a live boy,” Spitzer will be back. Given the magnitude of this scandal, he may be back sooner than we expect. Interviewed on The Brian Lehrer Show last week, his politic answer on whether he is planning to make a comeback as a media person made it clear he is still intent on winning back the public’s good graces.
His understated and calculated public appearances are not consistent with a man looking to become a media personality – he would want more appearances and try to adopt a more strident tone if this was his goal; they are not consistent with a man who is done with politics – as he does not have the gravitas and devil-may-care honestly and looseness that comes with this life decision; instead, he seems to be staging a comeback. He waited just over a year from his resignation before giving his first interview – despite the increasingly clear Wall Street scandal that he had been brewing. He’s focusing on policy, substance, and seriousness to avoid as much as possible talking about his past scandals. But his answer still have the slipperiness of a pol.
It’s only a matter of time before he runs for office again.