Reflecting on Spitzer's Rookie Year
December 4th, 2007

He was supposed to be New York’s knight in shining armor, waving his theoretical sword at the state’s infamous inability to get anything done. Now, the somewhat disgraced Gov. Eliot Spitzer seems defeated by the impenetrable ways of Albany, where Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno has taken on the role of arch nemesis or – to keep this medieval analogy going – fire breathing dragon, complete with boxing gloves.

At events around the city, so many New Yorkers say they had so much hope for Spitzer. He would bring a reform-minded agenda to the capital and finally do away with Albany’s dysfunction.

Hope is the operative word.

He was elected with 69 percent of the vote. Now, he is staggering with an approval rating in the twenties.

As we come to the end of the year, many New York publications are getting nostalgic, reflecting on the governor’s mishaps that could – or maybe they already have – mire his overall potential (Do I have to remind you? Troopergate, the license plan, need I say more?)

In the latest of several reflective profiles on the governor’s first year in office, Nick Paumgarten of The New Yorker trailed Spitzer over the last several months, digging into his intellectual past (we have all heard the anecdotal tales of the Spitzer family dinner table where the governor first learned to proselytize), his combative present and a future that is certainly sitting in purgatory.

The exhaustive profile still seems slightly hopeful, quoting those optimistic political insiders who believe something may turn around in Albany. But there is always the naysayer – or in this case, depending on who you talk to, those in step with reality.

“Spitzer lunges. He seems not to be a person of strategy. He slipped on a banana peel, or six, and once down has thrashed around,” one Albany observer told Paumgarten.

If you’re getting into the pensive mood as we head toward the end of the year, this profile follows one in the New York Times that took a similar, in-depth look at Spitzer’s rookie season. And then there was always the New York Magazine piece in July.

By on December 4, 2007, 12:38 pm
In category: Albany,Electoral Politics,Gotham City,Governing | 2 Comments »

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2 Responses to “Reflecting on Spitzer's Rookie Year”

  1. Steven Tuozzolo Says:
    December 5th, 2007 at 7:09 am

    Good piece.

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