Opinion: Eliot Spitzer was a contender


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Here’s how far Eliot Spitzer has fallen:

  • He was elected governor of New York in November 2006, with 70% of the vote -- a phenomenal figure, even taking into consideration that the state Republican Party picked that year to implode. Indeed, Spitzer’s mark bested by 3 percentage points Hillary Clinton’s tally in winning reelection to her Senate seat -- a race on which she spent about $35 million, mainly as a dry run for the presidency.
  • In writing about his victory, the Almanac of American Politics said Spitzer stood ‘like a colossus over New York state politics.’
  • His standing, inevitably, eroded once he took office, in part because of revelations that his administration ordered the state police to make a special effort to track the whereabouts of his chief political rival, state Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, a Republican. Still, Spitzer was seen by many as a long-range presidential prospect.

Now, of course, the question is whether he’ll remain employed.
If he does resign the governorship, he’ll also lose his status as a superdelegate to the Democratic National Convention. He’s endorsed Clinton, as has the New York lieutenant governor who would replace him in the top job, David Paterson (he’s also a superdelegate).

-- Don Frederick