So Why Hasn't Spitzer Resigned Yet?

Eliot Spitzer
Photo: Getty Images

Yesterday we received word from multiple reliable sources that Spitzer was planning on getting the whole thing over with last night. We weren't sure, but it sounded like there was to be an evening press conference, during which Spitzer officially resigned and David Paterson was sworn in as governor. But that never came to pass. Now Spitzer has wiped his schedule clean of public events and is hunkered down with advisers. Meanwhile, much of the mainstream media and many political rivals are calling for his head. As the New York Times pointed out, "any politician would have a full-time job just dealing with such revelations." It seems impossible that Spitzer would be able to continue on as governor (in about 24 hours state Republicans will start impeachment proceedings against him), and yet he hasn't resigned. What gives? Some theories:

• In preparation for a day in which he may have to face prosecution over his role in the Emperor's Club prostitution debacle, stepping down from the governorship would be a great trump card. He could use it as a big sacrifice in any deal, saving himself from other punishments like fines, disbarment, or jail time. [National Review]
• He could be destroying documents or evidence, suggests DealBreaker. Though it sounds far-fetched, a private security expert tells them that the reason executives under investigation at big companies are immediately escorted out of the building is so that they can't do that. "They should have the FBI there right now to prevent Spitzer from deleting his hard-drives," their source argues. [DealBreaker]

• Silda, Spitzer's wife, and a couple of key advisers have told him not to resign in haste. He could just be waiting for the dust to settle and the hysteria to die down to evaluate the situation in terms of public and political opinion. [NYT]
• His Paul, Weiss lawyers, ever the fighters (they represented Scooter Libby), got to him before he could resign last night and are pursuing every possible venue out of this mess. He's just waiting to see what they come up with. [National Review]
• Spitzer and his lawyers know it may be weeks before the Feds drum up charges against him, are holding out to see what they will do, and won't make any plan until that happens. [NYS]