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Opinion: Ex-N.Y. gov Eliot Spitzer, once caught up in prostitution ring, eyes comeback

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He’s back.

Once known as Client 9 in an indictment that busted up a prostitution ring, then New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer was identified as the man who paid $4,300 for a Mayflower Hotel rendezvous with escort Ashley Dupre. When the news broke, he resigned his office as governor.

That was in March of last year. Ever since, he has worked in his father’s real estate firm. More recently, he has started to burnish his credentials as a financial expert -- you may recall that Spitzer, as New York attorney general, terrorized Wall Street executives by threatening corruption prosecutions. These days, he’s making occasional appearances as a commentator on cable news shows and writing for Slate magazine. Also going to Yankees games with his wife Silda, seen with him in the photo above at the Aug. 25 Texas Rangers game. Sort of Rehab 101 for politicians chased from office by scandal.

Now, according to the New York Post, Spitzer is eyeing either a run for state comptroller general or a challenge to New York Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand, appointed to fill out Hillary Clinton’s term.

Calling Spitzer “the hooker-happy Democrat,” the Post quotes friends as saying that the former governor is citing recent polling that shows him more popular than the man who replaced him, his onetime lieutenant governor David Paterson.

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For the record, Spitzer – who was never charged with a crime -- disavows any intention of running. Sort of.

‘If by politics you mean running for office again, I’ve a hard time seeing politics as a career. I wouldn’t want to put my family through the agony,’ he told Vanity Fair magazine in its July issue. ‘But that doesn’t mean I can’t participate somehow in the public debate about the issues.

Still, says the Post, a lot of those around the former governor figure it’s only a matter of time before he returns to the ring. ‘There are people around him who want to see him [in office],’ one unnamed source told the tabloid. ‘He sees himself there too. He loves to be in the limelight.’

-- Johanna Neuman

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