Slate.com has just announced that it is welcoming a new columnist into the fold: former governor of New York, Eliot Spitzer. For those of you with amnesia, Mr. Spitzer resigned on March 12 of this year amidst allegations of providing "illicit loans" to a prostitution service, Emperors Club VIP. Client-9, as he was referred to by a Federal Affidavit, has now officially joined the ranks of the employed, agreeing to pen a bi-weekly column for Slate in which he shares his views on financial matters.
His first column, entitled "Too Big Not to Fail," discusses the shortcomings of providing bailout money to struggling financial institutions. Though the article has only received 6 Diggs, it is, by and large, well-written, perceptive, and informative. The former governor displays his insider-knowledge prolifically and offers insightful alternative approaches to the lump-sum-bailout approach currently being employed by the Fed. Mr. Spitzer lobbies against consolidation of financial institutions, proposing instead that they be divided into smaller entities in the hopes of facilitating productive competition within the financial industry. Expanding the number of institutions would prevent any one body from becoming too powerful or too much a source of dependence...
Wait, wait, wait. Hold on. Eliot Spitzer has a column for Slate?
First of all, congratulations Slate. Capital idea! What a shrewd business move. I know that when I'm in need of a few clicks, I like to bring in disgraced governors to write for me. Though I may question Slate's motives as a fan of the site, I applaud the re-emergence of Eliot Spitzer, especially as a journalist, if for no other reason than seeing him get the chance at a new start. He is a very intelligent, capable guy (and from reading his first blog, not a bad writer either, though a little lawyerly). He was, despite his sometimes self-righteous attitude and penchant for adultery, a skillful public servant, and his views on financial matters are not unsought considering his long-time service as an attorney general, and a good one at that.
But come on, will you really read this because you want to know Eliot Spitzer's opinions on the bailout? My guess is that you'll probably read his column because idiot bloggers like myself give it attention and you remember Spitzer as the guy who used his friend's name as an alias while surreptitiously meeting prostitutes at places called "The Emperors Club VIP." (Do veteran politicians lose their sense of irony? The Emperors Club? The emperor wears no clothes? Give me a break.)
Or you're going to read it because now the former governor is a working-stiff just like you and me, as seen in my favorite line from the NY Times article to first report on Spitzer's new job: " 'Mr. Spitzer will be paid on a freelance basis,' Mr. Weisberg said."
For me personally, I love how Weisberg made a point to say he's a freelancer. They don't want to commit to the relationship quite yet. After all, he may go get in bed with Business Week.
Couldn't help it.
In related, unsurprising news, New York Magazine also has reported that Spitzer is thinking about writing a book. God I hope it's a romantic comedy.
Come on New Yorkers, give the guy a break. Go read his column. If you want to throw rotten tomatoes at him, do it virtually. Post a message.