A modest proposal: Spitzer for Senate?
I like Alex Navarro-McKay's speculative list of replacements for Hillary, and particularly his Adolfo Carrion float, though I think I'd put Andrew Cuomo on top of it. But I've been getting some abuse today for another name I floated over at Politico today, and wanted to explain why Eliot Spitzer (!) should be seen as the dark horse here.
This was not, I admit, my idea; it came from a well-known municipal troublemaker whose identity some will guess when they think about it. And I told him that it's crazy. And Spitzer doesn't seem to see himself as a candidate for anything. "[M]istakes I made in my private life now prevent me from participating in these issues as I have in the past," he writes in tomorrow's Washington Post
But let me make the case:
-Paterson owes him. Spitzer went with his gut and surprised the state by offering him the Lieutenant Governorship. Then he got caught paying a prostitute and made Paterson governor.
-He's the original Wall Street reformer. His attacks on the finance and insurancies now look prescient. Now, nobody thinks AIG was taking acceptable risks. And Spitzer has thought for a long time, both in detail and in broad terms, about how to reform the Street.
-He's off the hook. No indictment.
-Political time moves faster now. That whole Spitzer scandal was a century ago.
-Paterson's appointing himself, though tempting, is a bad idea.
Well, Noam Scheiber's on board.
And yes, there extremely good practical arguments against it. First of all, in a reasonable world, Paterson will have only one consideration: Who will help him most in 2010, which would probably translate into an ambassador either to white ethnic Dems or, maybe, to Hispanics. Spitzer, not so much.
But Paterson likes surprises, and he's got a forgiving temperament.
So put Eliot on the list.
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