Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A politician was unfaithful, but should he resign?

New York Governor Eliot Spitzer broke a personal and marital trust with his wife but should he give in to pressure from other politicians to resign? He is a rich guy, with an income of nearly $2 million last year. The crime was paying a woman for intimacy. So $80,000 was blown with a prostitute, no pun intended. Some analysts say this is a victim-less crime. And if he used his own money, then that's as far as the crime goes. If it was the public's purse, then he is in more serious trouble, and nothing will protect him in that case.

Spitzer has been described the "Sheriff of Wall Street" regarding his tenacious and abrasive style of fighting crime on Wall St. and busting prostitution rings. This is the other part of the "whether he should resign or not" question - integrity. How can you stay on a crime fighter if the crime you busted is one you participated in? He would then appear as a hypocrite.

This sex scandal is most hurtful, as it always is, to his immediate families. It's hard to imagine the pain and disappointment they are going through. His 50 year old wife quit a lucrative career as a lawyer 20 years ago, to devote to raising her three kids. She gave speeches on the value of volunteerism, and "greening" homes.

Psychoanalysts speculate that Eliot Spitzer may have a personal problem, weakness or some other psychologically explained condition that led him to engage in a high risk activity like this. Even so, if he did not use public funds for this purpose he does not have to resign, though the pressure will be immense. After all, there are a few other political figures who were naughty in private, but did their jobs well, Roosevelt, Clinton and Kennedy to name a few. And a few good, forgiving, patient women stood by those men(or put up with), Hillary, and Jackie O. for example.

Though Spitzer is under incredible pressure to step aside, he could stay as Governor and not. He did say "sorry", and might only get a slap, not from the prostitute, but from federal prosecutors. His post traumatic news conference time as Governor would not be a smooth sailing picnic, but it can happen, just up to him. Either way, life is just not going to be the same for him and the family.

Update: Spitzer is going to resign this afternoon.

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