"Wife Stands By Her Man"
Calling it a "private matter," New York's Governor Eliot Spitzer has stumbled into yet another screw-up - quite literally - since he took office and this one could be the death nail in his political coffin or maybe not.
This is American politics and just about any guy can survive anything if President Clinton can survive an impeachment after Lewinskygate, especially if his wife is standing beside him during his 'mea culpa' to the assembled New York press this afternoon.
Only alluding to being linked to a recent prostitution sting, Spitzer apologized to family and promised to "regain the trust of the public and do better."
"I have disappointed and failed to live up to the standard I expected of myself. I must now dedicate some time to regain the trust of my family."
But what exactly did he do?
According to FBI indictment, there was a wiretap with Spitzer's voice - known as Client 9 - confirming he hooked up with an 'escort' named Kristen and that she was paid $4300 for services rendered in a Washington DC hotel room number 871.
There was an Associated Press story several days ago, which I read in the Poughkeepsie Journal, about federal authorities arresting a man and three women who allegedly ran the Emperor's Club, an escort service catering to rich Europeans and Americans who can fork over from $1,000 to $5,500 for the services of scantily dressed escorts.
Arrested were: Mark Brener, 62, and Cecil Suwal, 23 from Cliffside Park, N.J. Tameka Rachelle Lewis, 32 from Brooklyn, and Rhinebeck resident, 36-year-old Tanya Hollander were apparently assigning women to their wealthy clients.
It was the Rhinebeck resident Tanya Hollander that caught my eye.
Rhinebeck is a small town located in the upstate New York, just a stone's throw away from my house, and I had to laugh when I read that Hollander lives "a quiet life," according to her New York City lawyer, Mary Mulligan.
What other life can you lead in Rhinebeck?
If you're a movie buff, you can take in the Upstate Theater, where Indie films are shown and sip the hottest red wine at Gigi's Restaurant across the street, where I've seen famous actors and actresses munching on Arugla salad, along with the other Manhattanites fond of horses and their weekend country estates.
I wondered how deep and wide the story's legs might reach, but even I was slightly surprised - but only slightly - when Eliot Spitzer admitted to his closest aides that he was "involved in a prostitution ring."
His involvement appears to be only as a client - a John - but for the man who made his reputation as the "Eliot Ness of Wall Street" and who once proudly crushed a prostitution ring as the state's Attorney General, this could spell trouble beyond the home front.
Naturally, Spitzer's wife, Silda Wall, was at his side, which seems to be de rigueur for these sorts of unsavory political sex stories.
A Harvard law graduate, as is her husband, Silda looked as if she was about to cry before Governor Spitzer began his prepared remarks. Actually, their arms were wrapped around each other! As Governor Spitzer read his prepared speech, her face turned a frozen, stoic mask. She looked intelligent. She looked hurt. Why do they do it?
This is the part that disgusts me.
The long list of women 'standing by their man' swept past me:
Larry Craig's wife. David Vitter's wife. Ted Kennedy's wife. Jim McGreevey's wife.
Maybe, Senator Clinton can clue us in on why they continue to "stick with their man" like an old Tammy Wynette song that long ago faded from the charts and yet, these women continue to play the sympathetic backdrop for their ambitious husband's political careers and worse yet, their self-destructive hypocrisy.