As you saw, (Former) Governor Eliot Spitzer gave an interview to Newsweek - the first since his fall from our lives. His words were carefully chosen, his demeanor carefully crafted. The entire interview was clearly set up by whatever Spitzer camp there is to revitalize what was once a career. It has a "going forward" theme. (One segment of the interview was even apparently conducted during one of his, uh, ubiquitous runs around the Reservoir in Central Park.) Overall, the interview was middling. Not good. Not bad. Certainly there. It probably achieved what it was meant to achieve for now.
It made a fantastic cover.
However, there were problems with it that may not be noticeable to the untrained eye. Eliot S. got to be Governor of New York by saying whatever he felt like saying--doing it resolutely, with fervor and balls. He was elected to public office as possibly the only politico ever who had a routine of saying whatever, whenever. His words were who he was, what he thought, when he thought it. It was astounding.
Alas, these days, a year after we stopped thinking about him, he has been trained for the media by buffoons who don't know him in the least. This is his comeback? Clearly they prepared lines for him that are nothing if not canned and incongruous. They told him "Hey, Eliot... we are experts. Just say whatever we tell you to, and you will be ok!" He must have agreed--dumb cluck.
For example, we see one of the most outspoken public figures in modern history blathering on about how immediately after "everything" happened he worried about what breed of dog was best for his image. How ridiculous is it that, even for a disgraced dude, since he was explaining how it's not what he did to the State that was crucial--it's what the dog he's walking says about his person!
Eliot, your people are making you look bad. This time it's not you. I mean, literally not you.
Those carefully worded phrases were constant head-shakers for me. I kept expecting him just to say "Fuck it! I sinned." Geepers, he wouldn't even talk about psychological help, which he has to have had, as if to think that somehow he'd be unable to get into politics if he admitted shrinkage. So, what year is this again?
As a media trainer for a lot of big egos, I can't help but think WTFOMGFAIL or some other shouting the kids text to each other all the time! Whoever did the training for Spitzer should go back to selling shoes; it's that simple. The amazing bits of wisdom - a year's worth - he could have shared with the magazine that pays his salary (Newsweek owns Slate, his column-slash-placeholder) and this is what he chooses--it is a choice to chat up your dog selection--for topics? Indeed, this man is beyond saving.
In fact, he's guilty of the biggest sin of all: looking boring. Kind of reminds me when Gov. Cuomo was pondering a run for president and someone at NBC said "It's not going to be easy for him once he leaves the Gabe Pressmans of the world!"
Then again, it could be that "Client 9" will get another chance at the public stuff. To you, FG Spitzer. I say: Look, you are still live here--in my great city. I don't think Bloomberg will do a fourth term and if there's a city that gives second chances don't forget you are in what Auntie Mame called "New York, the center of New York." You want it? Give me a call. Let's figure out a way.
The first step to redemption--hire someone who respects your balls.
Follow My Twitter Feed www.twitter.com/laermer
Follow Richard Laermer on Twitter: www.twitter.com/laermer