Client 9's Options

More

The public pressure on Mr. Spitzer to resign will be enormous, if only because he has set new records for self-righteousness among American politicians.

He would seem to have few other options in an atmosphere where Democrats are poised to take over the State Senate, although perhaps he can pull a Berlusconi and seek to repeal the Mann Act or have prostitution legalized.

Why was David Vitter allowed to stay in the U.S. Senate despite his prostitutional inclinations? Perhaps Spitzer's reputation for crime fighting trumps Vitter's moralizing. To me, both hypocrises are equivalent and fairly irrelevant.

There is a script to these things.

First, the politician acknowedges the gravity of the infraction. Mr. Spitzer's brief public statement did not do so. This isn't about prostitution. It's about -- allegedly -- Gambino crime family money laundering.

Then the politician apologizes for unspecified obligation failings. This, Mr. Spitzer did.

Then the politician retreats into a period of solitude, and then acknowledges some congenital defect or longstanding condition, such as alcoholism. TBD.

Public pressure, aided and abetted by the media, mounts. TBD.

The politician either figures out what the public wants, or he does not -- and proceeds accordingly. TBD.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In