So here’s a theory going around: Eliot’s slap in the face to Shelly over the comptroller’s race – allowing the panel to report five names, even if they weren’t assembly members, would have been less confrontational – is aimed at provoking the confrontation that many think is coming, and at outsing Silver. The merits of the issues play well for Spitzer. It’s hard to make the case that there’s any particular external logic to making an Assembly Democrat comptroller.
But how can Silver – who’s not really bound by the panel – do anything other than fight? If Silver goes along, he looks very weak to his members, the first step toward losing a leadership job; if he fights, he gives Spitzer an excellent to attempt a coup. Attempt being the operative word here. Hard to pick a winner in that one.