Spitzer in ExileWhen your résumé says 'disgraced ex-governor,' what do you do next?
There is no success so exquisite as the kind you find in Manhattan and no disgrace so excruciating as the kind you find on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Residents of the rarefied blocks north of the Plaza Hotel and east of Central Park marvel at the smallness of their neighborhood, how each day they run into friends—strolling through the park, marching down the wide avenues, sitting in thewell-lit restaurants. This familiarity is a comfort to the neighborhood's better sorts, the knowledge that most anyone they know, most anyone who matters, might be about to round the corner. For pariahs, it is torture, a torture they have no choice but to endure. They can hole up in the country for the weekend … but the children must go to school. They can send the laundry out, they can order food in … but even the airiest apartments turn stuffy after a while. Eventually, they have to go out, onto the street. Eliot Spitzer goes out to walk the dogs.
For three days after resigning as governor of New York in March 2008, he stayed in his Upper East Side apartment, out of the cameras' view. In those early days of exile, his name was on the lips of most everyone in the city—the disgraced governor … Silda's no-good husband … Client No. 9. Along Fifth Avenue, outside his apartment building, the photographers and press hounds formed a thick line. Watching from inside, Spitzer was amazed by the spectacle. He wondered, is there nothing else going on in the world?
But dogs have needs that transcend damage control. And so the first images of Eliot Spitzer, private citizen, were of a man in baggy sweatpants, trailing after his wheaten terrier, James. The photographers followed them. "I explained to James that he was a good-looking dog," Spitzer recalls. "People wanted to take his picture." He didn't know what he would encounter outside his door, but there was nothing he could do about it. "You put up barriers and sort of prepare yourself."
Spitzer kept walking the dog through the last bitter days of winter. The photographers lost interest. By summer he was an Upper East Side curiosity—Whatever happened to Eliot? I don't know
, was a common answer, but I've seen him walking his dog
A year later, he is still walking. Now he has a new companion. When he was a young politician with a tough-guy reputation, he preferred to walk only James and leave Jesse, the other family dog, at home. Jesse is a bichon frisé, the kind of dog that blue-haired women leave their fortunes to. "I wouldn't take her out in public," Spitzer recently explained. "I thought James was the better image for me." Now, most any weekend, he can be seen trailing after both animals. "It's like, OK, I have a bichon, a little white ball of fluff … I don't care. What do you have to lose?"
Here is Eliot Spitzer, one year out from a devastating scandal, trying to convince you he has nothing more to lose. Most of it, really, is already gone—the governorship, the entourage, the talk about becoming the first Jewish president of the United States.
He still has his health and, to the surprise of many, his marriage. But if he were struck down tomorrow, he would be remembered first as the best-known client of a prostitution service called the Emperors Club, the man at the center of the most spectacular political sex scandal since Bill and Monica.( Collapse )This article is kinda tl;dr but I'm posting it anyway. I like it. Not just 'cause I like Spitzer as a politician, but it's a good article. It's like a short story. The bit about the statue reminds me of Don DeLillo, or maybe my tired brain is just making things up, idk.