Two Views of Eliot Spitzer

Slipping the surly bonds of Slate to touch the face of NYC comptroller

Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Only two days remain for Eliot Spitzer to make it onto the ballot in the primary for NYC comptroller, and to shake off the surly bonds of Slate. As he tries, my colleague John Dickerson and I have two takes on his comeback dreams. Dickerson:

To do well, Spitzer actually doesn’t need voters to forgive him. He needs enough voters to not care. There are any number of ways they may come about. They can write off the prostitution rap as simply a personal thing, missing the hypocrisy—Spitzer was paying for sex while as attorney general he was prosecuting prostitution rings. Or, they can value his lack of forgiveness as attorney general as a worthwhile quality in a job that requires him to monitor pension funds, bond issuances, and city spending, and which he hopes to expand into a watchdog of other areas, too. (Arguments on the merits are made by Reihan Salam and Josh Barro.) Or, they can just recognize his name and vote for the guy they know on the list.

And I took a more personal tack, trying to explain how my experience with a temporarily career-ending, Wikipedia-bio-defining scandal lets me understand what the world’s Spitzers are going through when they dive back in.