07/18/2013 09:55 am ET Updated Sep 17, 2013

Does 'Slime' Really Pay Off in NYC Politics? And Peggy Siegal Celebrates Her Birthday at Le Grenouille

"SLIME Pays!" ran the headline in The New York Daily News this week while the New York Post wrote "Weiner, Spitzer Both Leading in New Poll."

What's really going on in the minds of New York Democrats who are soon going to be electing a new Mayor and a new Comptroller to just about the highest offices this city offers? (And Weiner/Spitzer both have come a'cropper over past sex plays that leave both men forever to be held up as moral offenders.)

I don't know these men except to nod at Spitzer in restaurants but both have exemplary wives. This, alone, goes a long way despite tabloid headlines that have these guys "flex perv muscle," to quote the Daily News. In fact, yesterday it was the wives that the tabloids claim have both men in the public's eyes like a cinder. (I guess this means New York women are more apt to forgive their erring spouses.)

• So "you" won't/wouldn't/ couldn't vote for either of them, eh? Well, why are your fellow Democrats making them the leaders in this important contest?

Here's my tiny take on it. That benevolent and brilliant fellow Michael Bloomberg has to take his
paternalistic ball and bat and go home and leave us bereft of his money, power and executive skills. There is no help for that. And New Yorkers, even the ones who disliked his "nanny" ways, feel desperate.

Most busy New Yorkers haven't a clue about the existing candidates. They're too busy surviving the vicissitudes of the city in summer. So at the very least, they've "heard" of Weiner and Spitzer. Both have wives who stood by them, though Mrs. Spitzer may be drifting off a bit. Who knows? And whatever else we know about them - the two men are ruthlessly self-centered and - one of them, Spitzer, is really smart! In fact, both may know something about public service. And about leading. (Although his detractors argue that Weiner is just a self-serving wannabe and was no loss to the Dems in Congress when he collided with the Internet.)

Anyway, a public that forgave John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton and countless others who couldn't keep it zipped, feels desperately inclined to vote for the devils they know, instead of those others they really never heard of. Familiarity may breed contempt but there is a certain cock surety (forgive the expression) in having a super-sexed guy at the helm where you can be sure whatever passes for the press will, in the future, keep close tabs on his private behavior. This may be preferred to having a complete stranger you have no knowledge of. And examining these runners-up who you don't know, is too time-consuming and disillusioning in itself.

It's not that people are so into "forgiveness." That -- they are not, and many souls live by morally disapproving Old Testament type strictures, whether they know it or not. But these days, the average New Yorker is leading such a hectic life of survival itself that he, she, they haven't got time to study what's good and what's bad about public figures. So they go the New Testament route of forgiving and ignoring and hoping for the best.

We are all survivors these days and we admire other survivors. And if Weiner and Spitzer aren't survivors who have crawled up out of their own wreckage, what are they? This doesn't mean you should vote for them, but it means that plenty of your fellow New Yorkers are considering it.

What's more, all this is happening simply because New Yorkers know their names!

• WHEN I saw that my longtime friend, Peggy Siegal, had taken over the upstairs and part of another room in the posh La Grenouille French restaurant for her 66th birthday lunch, I assumed she had sold some of her late mother's diamonds or she was doing OK in business. She fed some of the best-looking women in town and a few nice guys, distinguished writers, editors and show biz types.

Peggy even gave out a program with the updated names of her plastic surgeons, other doctors, dressmakers, clubs and contacts for the lunchers to chew on and make their own. Her theory was that her good successful advice makes healthy friends who can end up looking as good as she does, even if they are 102 years old.

And to prove it, Peggy gave us all a glam photo of herself. Then, she was off with Martha Stewart to the South of France for an opera opening and her latest "PR push" is for the Woody Allen movie, "Blue Jasmine," opening next Monday.

Happy birthday, Peggy!

• The Salisbury Cathedral leader, Robert Key, where he claims to have the best example of the Magna Carta, says Jay-Z was greeted in person by their dean, the very Rev. June Osborne, a woman bishop.

"Jay-Z saw our Magna Carta on a Sunday morning. "He may not sing lyrics that would fit in an English Cathedral, but his heart is in the right place!"

M. Key tells me Salisbury's Magna Carta will be "on the move in 2015." The British Library will celebrate the 800th birthday of the document by bringing all four of the existent Magna Cartas together for three days under one roof for the first time.

Incidentally, M. Key would like to do a U.S. lecture tour about the famed document which revolutionized British law back in 1215. He'd like to hear from you with an offer. M. Key was a member of parliament, a minister for Margaret Thatcher and John Major and a secretary to P.M. Edward Heath.

He is the real McCoy.