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Monday, March 10, 2008

Elliot Spitzer Learns Tough Lesson

Governor Elliot Spitzer (D-NY) had a reputation as "Mister Clean" when he went after New York investment firms for behaving badly. He used his "get tough" approach for dealing with greedy businesses as a spring board to get elected governor. Now Spitzer finds himself under a highly unwelcome microscope.
In a short statement (see video above also), Spitzer said:

"For the past nine years, eight years as attorney general, and one as governor, I have tried to uphold a vision of progressive politics that would rebuild New York and create opportunity for all. We sought to bring real change to New York and that will continue.

"Today I want to briefly address a private matter. I have acted in a way that violates my obligations to my family and violates my, or any, sense of right and wrong. I apologize first and most importantly to my family. I apologize to the public, whom I promised better.

"I do not believe that politics in the long run is about individuals. It is about ideas, the public good, and doing what is best for the state of New York. But I have disappointed and failed to live up to the standard I expected of myself. I must now dedicate some time to regain the trust of my family.

"I will not be taking questions. Thank you very much. I will report back to you in short order. Thank you very much."

This is, of course, just enough blood to make the media sharks swarm. This is the beginning of a great deal of trouble for the liberal governor. Interestingly, the media said that the "governor apologized" but "did not resign." That's pretty tough and is an indicator of what the governor can expect. The Governor placed a very high standard on others, I'm not surprised that he is being held to it.

I strongly disagree with his statement "that politics in the long run is not about individuals." This is the typical double talk used by politicians who are caught with their hands in the cookie jar. "Personal integrity doesn't matter in public policy." Both arenas require trust. The person who is untrustworthy in one arena is likely to be untrustworthy in the other. We will have to see how quickly the Governor gets this incident behind him, if at all.
Kevin Price is Host of the Houston Business Show (M-F at 11 AM on CNN 650) and Publisher of the Houston Business Review. Hear the show live and online at HoustonBusinessShow.com. Visit the archive of past shows here.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Susan Gretts said...

This is huge and he is history.

9:11 PM  
Anonymous Donna Farm said...

I'm surprised that you are surprised that it is being taken so seriously. He will be gone before the weekend, I'm sure.

9:41 PM  
Anonymous Peter Guirn said...

Probably the most draatic rise and fall I have ever seen!

3:06 PM  

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