You sometimes forget how smart and astute Eliot Spitzer is - and how he might have been a real contender were it not for that business with the call girl. Here he is in a Q&A with Interview magazine:
Q: ...A lot of the stuff you did when you were attorney general was viewed as populist. But then I've heard you say that you don't believe in populism.
SPITZER: Well, it's very hard to be a passionate moderate, because the energy and the adrenaline flows more when you're the screaming libertarian or the angry populist who attacks the ramparts of capitalism. I actually believe in capitalism. But I don't think The Wall Street Journal has the foggiest idea of what capitalism is all about. They don't understand what markets are and how they work. I believe that for markets to work, you need a government that brings enforcement actions and sets parameters the way we were trying to when I was AG. It was part of a much more nuanced argument that I was trying to make when I was governor about what government should do. But populism, which is driven by anger, isn't going to get us to the point where we actually create jobs or wealth for people. It's a visceral response. What we need is a more sophisticated understanding of how the economy really works-and the caricature that's put forth on The Wall Street Journal's editorial page is just as wrong as the one put forth by the angry populists.
The Tiger Woods stuff this week is a reminder of how celebrity redemption tends not to work in politics. Once you're caught cheating, it's pretty much over. Of course, 30 or 40 years ago, say in JFK's time, you were never caught.