Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Why Elliot Had To Pay For Love

Because he did so much to get so many people to hate him.

Kimberly Strassel of the Wall Street Journal lists a few key examples:

On a personal level, the AG has also struggled to explain away his penchant to threaten people in private. Former Goldman Sachs Chairman John Whitehead wrote on this page in December that after he'd published an op-ed criticizing Mr. Spitzer, the AG had called him to say: "Mr. Whitehead, it's now a war between us and you've fired the first shot. I will be coming after you. You will pay the price. This is only the beginning and you will pay dearly for what you have done."

Mr. Spitzer denied any threat, although he noted (without admitting guilt) that he simply had a lot of "passion..."

This is hardly an isolated incident. Consider: Former GE chief Jack Welch confirmed last year that Mr. Spitzer told him to deliver a message to Ken Langone -- whom the AG is suing along with Mr. Grasso. Mr. Welch couldn't remember the precise words, but broadly confirmed a Newsweek account that the AG had threatened to "put a spike through Langone's heart."

Then there was Spitzer's now-infamous confrontation with a state rep, telling him "I am a f---ing steamroller and I'll roll over you or anybody else."

Can you feel the love?

Spitzer's problem isn't that he's done something incredibly stupid and venal. His real problem is that he's a notoriously self-righteous jerk. Even his "apology" yesterday was off-putting, delivered with an attitude of one merely going through the motions. Is Elliot Spitzer sorry he did something so pathetic, or does he merely regret getting caught?

Given that he built his entire career catching others (whether they did anything actually illegal or not), the irony is too delicious.

NY Congressman Peter King speaks for many in New York: "I'm not one who likes to pile on someone for personal failures or personal tragedy, but in Eliot Spitzer's case, I never met anyone who was more self-righteous or more unforgiving of others than Eliot spider. That's why you're going to see, I don't think, anyone coming to his defense in this case."