Opinion

Choked-up on Morning Joe: Not really feeling your pain, Spitzer

Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer became a Twitter sensation when he appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Tuesday to discuss his candidacy for New York City comptroller, and ended up looking as though someone had shot his dog, stolen his pickup and made off with his wife.

Spitzer gained notoriety with his resignation as governor in 2008 when it came to light that he had been a regular client of an escort agency.

The Twitterverse lit up.

Time Magazine Senior Political Analyst Mark Halperin wondered how the public could trust Spitzer after having misplaced its trust in him before.

“If you win, you will not really have paid—you’ve paid some price, obviously, but you will not have had your public career asked,” Halperin asked. “Wouldn’t that to some extent reinforce the notion that you could do what you wanted to do?”

“I think there has been a substantial price to be paid,” Spitzer said. “I’ll let others determine small, adequate or inadequate. But resigning the governorship, and then dealing with the aftermath of that, and dealing with everything that has flowed from it, is pretty significant.”

Also running in New York municipal elections is former U.S. Rep Anthony Weiner, who resigned after a sexting scandal with a porn star. With that obviously in mind, Halperin continued.

“Are there any things people in elective office, a high office like governor of New York, could do, that involved law breaking, lying to the public, that you would consider as a voter disqualifying?” Halperin mused. “Or nothing’s disqualifying if a person comes back and says look at what I’ve done for the last five years, look at my great ideas?”

“If people lie about their taxes, not having paid their taxes and all the rest—” Spitzer said.

“But you lied about illegal activity,” Halperin noted.

“I lied about personal sexual activity, yes. I did that. I’m not diminishing that.”

“You weren’t lying about a consensual affair, but illegal activity,” Halperin pressed.

Endgame.

When Spitzer was late for a recent news conference and campaign appearance in Union Square, one man shouted out, “Why are you late? Were you with a hooker?” according to The New York Daily News.

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