Your Candidate Isn't Jesus

by dday

This is an object lesson into why you should not invest yourself so heavily into politicians.

Gov. Eliot Spitzer has informed his most senior administration officials that he had been involved in a prostitution ring, an administration official said this morning.

Mr. Spitzer, who was huddled with his top aides early this afternoon, had hours earlier abruptly canceled his scheduled public events for the day. He is set to make an announcement about 2:15 this afternoon at his Manhattan office.

Mr. Spitzer, a first-term Democrat who pledged to bring ethics reform and end the often seamy ways of Albany, is married with three children.

Just last week, federal prosecutors arrested four people in connection with an expensive prostitution operation. Administration officials would not say that this was the ring with which the governor had become involved.

I really, really liked Eliot Spitzer when he was a reformist Attorney General, and his campaign for Governor was first-rate. I could probably dig up my "Spitzer 2008" blog post from a couple years back. His first term in Albany was tumultuous but he's generally proven himself a tough partisan fighter. But he's a person, and people have their own issues and peccadilloes, and nobody should be particularly shocked. This is sad, more than anything.

But the larger point is that politicians are not demigods. They should not be seen as if they walk on water. They're people and they've been given tremendous power and that can have a negative influence. In the current political fight, we should consider this and try to keep an even keel.

... It should be mentioned that if David Vitter can just say "this is between me and my wife and my Lord" and hang around for a while until the media forgets about it, there's no real reason Spitzer has to resign. However, I don't necessarily believe that the acceptable standard of conduct should be set by the likes of David Vitter.