In Surreal Interview, Eliot Spitzer Mulls Belated Bar Mitzvah

Fields questions on Jerry Stiller, having "time to become a man"

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Surely Eliot Spitzer prepared himself for an uncomfortable interview with The Daily Beast’s Kevin Sessums just before the release of a documentary about the former New York governor’s career-killing prostitute scandal. But the exchange turned out to be uncomfortable in an entirely unexpected way, thanks to the oversharing interviewer. Behold, the most bizarre bits:

Spitzer Becomes the Interviewer

Sessums: I’ll disclose right here on the record that I’ve hired prostitutes ... I voted the straight Democratic line except for Senator Schumer. My vote turned Green instead. When Schumer, in what I considered an act of New York state cronyism, pushed Mukasey’s nomination ... I promised myself at that moment I would not vote for him for re-election. Mukasey was a champion of the Unitary Executive Theory—just like John Yoo—and he used it to rationalize a president's approving torture.

Spitzer: Interesting. Where are you from? You have an accent.

Sessums: Mississippi.

Spitzer: The Carolina accent isn’t quite as deep as the one from Mississippi.

On Sex Addiction

Sessums: On the eve of the election, Kathleen [Parker, co-host of Spitzer’s CNN show] looked over at you and said, “Has anyone ever told you how adorable you are when you are in denial?” ... Talk about denial. Isn’t that what addiction is all about—a desire that one cannot control that ends up being destructive?

Spitzer: OK. When I watch the film I’ll remember this and think about that. That’s interesting.

Sessums: Do you think you suffered from your own kind of pleonexia—for power and pussy? But I guess most politicians—except for Barney Frank—suffer from that, huh.

Spitzer: No, I don’t think so. No. No. No.

On His Bar Mitzvah-Free Childhood

Sessums: You never had a bar mitzvah. Do you regret that? How would your life have been different if you had experienced that as a Jewish rite of passage? Would you have been spared these other rites of passage you had to go through?

Spitzer: Hmmm ... that’s interesting. That’s one of those things I’ve never revisited either.

Sessums: Maybe you should start revisiting things. I can start coming in everyday at this time and we can talk. OK, Eliot? Sounds like you need to.

Spitzer: But that was 38 years ago when I didn’t have my bar mitzvah. Wow.

Sessums: Well, you can still have a bar mitzvah, can’t you. You still have time to become a man, Eliot.

Spitzer: There’s still time. Yes.

On the Nature of Fate

Sessums: One final question. Jerry Stiller and your dad Bernard when they were young men were both attempting to court your mother, Ann, up in the Catskills and trying to win her hand. What do you think would have happened if Jerry Stiller had married your mother? How would your life have been different?

Spitzer: I would have been Ben Stiller and that’s a scary thought.

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