Elliot Spitzer has pulled a Bill Clinton. The difference being that Bill had the smarts to take advantage of a White House intern while Spitzer paid a high-priced call girl to service him. The world’s oldest profession has laid low yet another promising public career. There is so much one could talk about here. So many ironies: the crackerjack prosecutor who broke all the rules allowing himself to be snared and turned into precisely the same victim that he himself used to prosecute. The self-destructing powerful man married to a brilliant, capable, giving, attractive wife. Why does a man endanger so much for getting so little in return?
I don’t think anyone in New York gives a damn about a politician using a prostitute. The damage (and it is very serious) on that front is between him, his wife and his children. But the thing that will torpedo his career, as it does in so many other crimes, is his attempt to conceal his actions. If he’d been more straightforward and not created dummy corporations to hide the payments or if he’d confined his wanderings to closer to home, then all he’d have to answer for would be being a philanderer, a common enough vice. But by bringing the prostitute to Washington and by creating shell companies he’s made himself eligible for federal prison time.
How deeply sad. I should add that my wife practiced law with Silda Spitzer earlier in her career and can’t say enough wonderful things about her. Silda truly doesn’t deserve this. Nor do her daughters. What makes a man ruin his life and that of those he loves like this? All for the sake of satisfying an urge. I know it’s more complicated than that. A man doesn’t do something like this without there being powerful psychological cross-currents buffeting him. But it still mystifies.