Eliot Spitzer’s political career, gravely injured after a collision with reality on Monday, finally passed into the great unknown two days later. But Spitzerism — the soul, that is, of his career — expired months ago.
Unlike virtually every other Democratic politician in the country, Eliot Spitzer understood markets. He believed in the potential of widespread investing in stocks to build and spread genuine wealth, and as attorney general, he was like a Money magazine editor on crack, targeting enemies of small investors: self-promoting analysts, corrupt mutual-fund traders, predatory lenders. Spitzerism wasn't about taxing and regulating profits; it was about diffusing profits to people who have never received a dividend check.
David Paterson just gave his first public address since Eliot Spitzer's resignation yesterday. He made noises about "getting back to work" and the budget, talked about being black and blind, indicated he wasn't planning any major changes to his predecessors more controversial policies, and became the first human being in government to express sympathy for Spitzer himself. "My heart goes out to Eliot Spitzer, his wife Silda, his daughters," he said. "I know what he's gone through this week. In my heart, I think he's suffered enough." Paterson also displayed a rather awesome sense of humor. "Just so we don't have to go through this whole resignation thing again," one ballsy reporter asked, "have you ever patronized a prostitute?" Patterson thought for a minute. "Only the lobbyists," he said.
Gawker agrees with us that Erik is the new Howie and points out that indeed all of this season’s chefs seem like rehashes of previous contestants:
Hung and Ilan have been combined into Dale, who is both Asian and smug. Erik, chrome-domed and prone to silver rings, is the new Howie. Spike, bluff and handsome, is the new C.J., and Stephanie, the winner or last night's challenge, is the new Lia.
Yesterday Gawker lamented, “How sad and kind of pathetic is it that coffee shops and even bars have been taken over by computers and their zombie-eyed owners?” This got us wondering about the extent to which Wi-Fi–equipped restaurants welcome laptop users, so we rang up a few of them.
Project Runway winner Christian Siriano might have America swooning over his whole "fierce" thing (and inexplicably so, in our book — our gay posse got over that word long ago), but Rami Kashou's doing just fine since his line will be sold at Intermix this spring.
In the excitement surrounding the unveiling of Kristen, the Jersey-grown hooker who (accidentally) brought Eliot Spitzer down, we almost missed the fact that last night, the city lost another famous prostitute. Andreia Schwartz, the "millionaire" madam who was arrested last year for running a brothel on West 58th Street where call girls got paid between $700 and $1,500 an hour (how quaint!), was quietly deported back to her native Brazil after twenty months in prison and, the Post tells us, serving as a source for the federal authorities who were probing Spitzer. Schwartz's biggest client was Time Warner CFO Wayne Pace, who she said paid her about $200,000 and helped her buy the apartment out of which she ran her business. He denied it and got off with only a terrible reputation, but now we're wondering … who were clients one through eight?
Kinky Link to Brazil's Bombshell[NYP]
Earlier: Eliot Spitzer's 'Kristen' Somehow Much More Adorable Than Anticipated
Celebrities designing their own clothing lines has become about as rare as a Pomeranian at Westminster. But a celebrity designing for a big label, like DKNY? That's more like a Pomeranian with a broken leg competing at Westminster, and today Rachel Bilson is that gimpy Pomeranian.
• Of the top twenty American newspapers, the circulation of New York ones suffered less than others over the past few years. [Mixed Media/Portfolio]
• We hear ... that gossip Website Jossip.com is up for sale. [NYP]
• And that ESPN The Magazine is beefing up its fashion coverage. [WWD]
Wait, what happened to the Rachael Ray bandwagon? The last thing time we looked, the peppy home-cooking guru was the poor woman's Martha Stewart. Well, maybe not: According to "Page Six" today, Ray’s syndicated TV show looks to be circling the bowl. “Anything below a 2.0 [Nielsen rating] is asking for trouble,” according to “an insider.” Perhaps Ray diluted her brand too much — we don’t want to see her interview Gene Simmons (like she did on Tuesday’s show) as much as we want to watch her prepare “jerky turkey burgers.” Warning to her staff: In these trying times, don’t bring Rach anything besides Starbucks. Just a suggestion.
Update! CBS Television Distribution reps are sending out e-mails all over town disputing the Page Six story: “Page Six's report today that the Rachael Ray show is being taken of the air is completely false and in fact our show is growing and renewed through 2010.”
Trouble Cooking for Ray Show [NYP]
Related:Rachael Ray Doesn't Like Dunkin' Donuts Coffee Any More Than We Do
Last night Eliot Spitzer finally released his official letter of resignation. It was short, simple, and hand-signed:
Dear Speaker Silver and Majority Leader Bruno,
I am writing to advise you that I am resigning my position as Governor of the State of New York effective 12:00 noon on Monday, March 17, 2008.
We love that (a) he's still governor until noon on Monday, which is surely a few extra hours that Paterson didn't ask for (think of how many personal checks pardons he can issue in that time!) and (b) how he had to put "Eliot Spitzer, Governor" at the bottom of the letter. Savor that, dude. "Eliot Spitzer, Attorney-at-law" just doesn't have the same ring to it.
But more importantly, as Vulture pointed out, our beloved "Kristen" had a very important new release today, too. Her latest song track! It's called "Move Ya Body." We were going to make a joke about that song title and Eliot Spitzer, but then we realized that every pop name ever could be a pun about hookers and governors.
Resignation Letter Released [NYDN]
Kristen Releases Another Song! [Vulture]
Earlier:Eliot Spitzer's 'Kristen' Somehow More Adorable Than Anticipated
Alan Richman’s review of Brasserie Les Halles yesterday on his GQ blog seemed a not especially subtle slam of Tony Bourdain. “When I phoned the restaurant to ask [Bourdain’s] role there,” the critic wrote, “I was told he acts as a ‘consultant,’ although it’s hard to know what a place that specializes in the hoariest of French dishes would need from an American who wasn’t much of a chef back in the days when he worked at being one.” Meow! Given how long Les Halles has been around and how universally understood its mediocrity is, there could be no other reason to review it than to lay the hurt on Tony Bourdain. Bourdain, though, is unfazed by the attack: He tells Grub Street, “It was like being mauled by Gumby. Afterwards, you’re not sure it even happened.”
Kitchen Inconsequential [GQ]