Eliot Spitzer’s Hat

Eliot Spitzers hat
I have Eliot Spitzer’s hat.

Well, not his hat, but the hat handed out on January 1, 2007 when two-hundred of us joined Spitzer for a two mile run in Washington Park. It was inauguration day and we’d been promised that starting on “Day One”  things would be different in Albany.

In the pre-dawn crowd were a dozen reporters, gangs of photographers, a large handful of Spitzer staffers, and scores of well-wishers.

I’d swear I saw a couple of people chasing him copies of their resume.

It was a swell time. The Capital Holiday Lights were blazing and everyone was in a great mood even though it was barely 6am. People were literally hooting and hollering as they ran along the slushy road behind their new governor. George Pataki never did anything like this!

Nobody could have imagined what happened to Eliot Spitzer. You’ve got to wonder what people who dragged their butts out of bed on New Year’s Day thought when the wheels came flying off his governorship in March 2008.

It was a time of great hope and optimism that we would see a big change in New York. Well, at least I got a hat.

19 thoughts on “Eliot Spitzer’s Hat

  1. He was a joke from day one, his cronies put into offices were and still are a joke from day one, and his ethics were a joke from day one.

  2. Nothing like trying to make a joke out of an event that happened nearly two years ago…time to update your material, Rob.

  3. #4: Just a moment of reflection on New Year’s Day.

    Besides, this is more a wry observation than a joke. What’s the statute of limitations on wry observations?

  4. Keep that hat: the book’s not closed on Spitzer. There’s a line that runs from his AG work to his election as Governor to Uncle Joe’s undoing to — just maybe — wholesale legislative turnover.

    If that last bit happens, and if we then take a decade-view of NYS politics, Spitzer is no doubt the macher.


  5. I wasn’t running with him on that day, but I’m still PO’d at Spitzer. I like to believe things would have been different in Albany with his leadership–with the Four Amigos and the other fiascoes.

  6. Eliot Spitzer made me lose what little trust I had in people in politics. I agree with Rob; it was a time of hope and optimism and I will always remember how disappointed I was the moment I heard of his undoing (partial pun intended).

  7. The real problem with Spitzer wasn’t his hiring a hooker. His real problem was that he was trying to do what Governor Paterson is trying to do, and that is hold legislators accountable for their profligate spending and for trying to press for other much needed reforms. The legislators will do anything they can to weasel out of their duty to legislate responsibly. They do whatever they can to make the governor the fall guy for problems of the legislators’ own making.

    There seems to be a rising sentiment for voting out every incumbent next fall when all seats in the legislature are to be voted on. That’s a very good idea.

  8. > who thinks Eliot Spitzer could be elected to a statewide or
    > federal office after this?

    Let’s see. Motivated by the public interest, incorruptible by money (has his own, thanks), super-capable and probably smarter than me? Yeah, Spitzer gets another turn. Maybe not at NY Governor any time soon, since there’s too much cheap ammo against him, but he’s easy to see as NYC Mayor in 2014, potentially until 2026 (three four-year terms). Spitzer would then be 67.

    “Statewide or federal” is certainly possible, but I’m not sure Spitzer can bear to wait for those stars to align. Depends on when a Senate seat comes available; when one does, it probably needs to be weakly contested, since Spitzer won’t come-off well throwing elbows. Guv or AG plainly ain’t in the cards for 2011. 2019 at the soonest, and that might still be too soon.

    All things equal, if I’m Spitzer, I’m looking to take Bloomberg’s baton. That’s a better job than the others anyhow, and maybe a better fit.


  9. > There are 50 governors and a hundred members of the Senate, but
    > only one NYC mayor.

    Right. He’s a native, the job’s a muscular technocrat’s dream project and it’s pitched right for Spitzer’s arrested ambitions. Also think the City has demonstrated taste for such figures, and that the propriety window will reopen for a 2013 mayoral campaign — in ways it won’t yet have for other offices. Plus he’d be good at it.

    Been thinking about *exactly* why Spitzer had to resign. A hardcore reductionist would say that it served to hasten his second act.


  10. My two year old loves his Day One hat. He wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Eliot. So much promise (for Eliot). It’s now in the hands of my little boy.

  11. Remember Wash DC Mayor Marion Barry? He went to jail for smoking crack and various other illegalities. He came back and was relected Mayor again.

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