It Happened This Week: Striking BackHillary Clinton hit Barack Obama on Reverend Jeremiah Wright even as critics slammed her for fibbing about Bosnian sniper fire, Sean Combs smacked down rumors that he was involved with Tupac’s shooting, and other events of the week that was.
How Eliot Spitzer Missed His Money Shot
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.
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Eliot Spitzer, Silda Wall: The New Billary?As the grim first anniversary of his governorship nears — with Albany as much of a mess as ever — Eliot Spitzer is backing up the steamroller, the Sun reports. According to the paper’s mysteriously high-placed source, the governor is shaking up his staff “at the urging of his wife and one of his closest friends.” The former is, of course, Silda Wall, while the latter is Lloyd Constantine, a mentor figure since Spitzer’s law-school days. Their advice, supposedly: Ditch chief of staff Richard Baum and chief political operative Ryan Toohey, both stained by the Troopergate, as a show of a “clean break” for the voters. Frankly, we had no idea the duo held such sway over Spitzer’s staffing choices; the recent Vanity Fair feature, for example, mentions the governor “turning more to seasoned advisers such as Constantine,” but Silda only rates a cameo as the girl that “made him smile.” If true, this is fairly huge: It means that the governor, like all beleaguered leaders, is getting all Circle of Trust on us — which amounts to a tacit recognition of failure. For his part, Spitzer has “yet to make a move.”
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‘Village Voice’ Still Totally Crushing Out on SpitzerVillage Voice vet Wayne Barrett finally lets loose on the lame “Troopergate” scandal with a withering cover feature that, frankly, made us a bit nostalgic for the alterna-weekly’s better days. Joe Bruno, of course, is overzealously pursuing Eliot Spitzer for overzealously pursuing Joe Bruno, and, legislatively speaking, zilch is getting done as a result. To Barrett, it’s a GOP smear campaign pure and simple, with the bonus effect of keeping the spotlight off Bruno (who probably did abuse his airplane privileges). “The Republicans are trying to depict Spitzer as a tyrant who will use police powers to silence or defeat them,” he writes, “and they couldn’t be happier to have [Andrew] Cuomo as their witness and cheerleader.”
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Cuomo Barking Up All the Wrong Trees
Is Andrew Cuomo already falling victim to his own hubris? The attorney general earned some serious integrity points when he went after Spitzer for the governor’s alleged misuse of state troopers in pursuing Joe Bruno. Now, with two of Spitzer’s top aides out and the State Senate GOP increasingly subpoena-happy, the case is beginning to seem like self-admiring nitpicking on Cuomo’s part. Glenn Valle, the counsel to the state-police chief and current hot-seat occupant Preston Felton, is calling parts of the A.G.’s original report “very misleading or outright wrong.” Even worse, this largely petty skirmish — what are we going to do, impeach Spitzer? Jail Bruno? Publicly hang Darren Dopp and call it a day? — is paralyzing Albany in exactly the ways the administration swore it wouldn’t. But Cuomo isn’t done yet.