I woke up this morning expecting to hear something more definite on a Spitzer resignation than just Bill Magnarelli stammering on Channel 9 about getting the business of the state moving again. So, as far as this utterly insignificant blog is concerned in the great chorus of voices across the state, let me say, it’s time for Spitzer to go. I know Paterson needs time to collect himself, but come on. In the words of John McEnroe “You cannot be serious” if you are thinking of three more lame duck years, Eliot.
Even with his own law-and-order reputation shattered, Spitzer has no firm allies in his own party. He has spent the last year in high friction with them. He has previously been weakened by an ethics scandal and political defeats he shouldn’t have had. It is a presidential election year, and he is (was?) one of the stars of the party. And the scandal affects him and only him. Night follows day, 2+2 equals 4. Other relevant factors include having a credible successor (in David Paterson) ready to step in; the popularity and likability of Spitzer’s wife and family; the ongoing fight for the Senate and the GOP’s fight for survival; perhaps the animosity of the powerful over Spitzer’s recent threats to discipline Wall Street over monoline bond insurers — there are any number of dark recesses you can plumb here as to the how who and why, but that’s irrelevant when it comes to the business of the state.
But the plain fact is that Spitzer has destroyed all his political capital and worse, destroyed the credibility that got him into office, and he did it on his own time. Why he did, we will never know. Did it have to be this way? We’ll never know that either.