Why Was Spitzer So Reckless?

March 16, 2008 10:20 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
With his first-hand knowledge of law enforcement’s investigative techniques, why was Spitzer so reckless? Perhaps, he subconsciously wanted to get caught.

30-Second Summary

Eliot Spitzer resigned as governor of New York two days after it was revealed that he had patronized a prostitution ring known as the Emperors' Club.

The evidence linking Spitzer to the call-girl ring came from a Feb. 13 wiretap, which was put in place after a series of suspicious funds transfers prompted federal officials to launch an investigation into his activities.

However, catching the former New York state attorney general appeared shockingly simple, considering his knowledge of funds transfers and wiretaps and their extensive use by law-enforcement authorities. 

Bill O’Reilly offers his own perspective, arguing, “This is either arrogance or it's self-destructive behavior and he wanted to get caught.”  Peggy Noonan offered the same two possibilities; on the latter, she first notes that humans "are all complicated little pirates," and then suggests that perhaps "Sptizer was, deep inside him, utterly self-destructive.  He wanted to bring himself down."

O’Reilly and Noonan may be on the mark. Given the scandals and numerous controversies of the governor’s first year in office, the fiscal emergency facing New York State, and an openly hostile relationship with Senate majority leader Joseph Bruno, could Spitzer have subconsciously wanted to be caught?  This possibility is supported by reports that Spitzer has told close aides that he began to visit prostitutes 8 months ago - which coincides with the release of a report that lambasted Spitzer's administration for misusing the State Police to track Bruno.

Headline Links: Did Spitzer sabotage himself?

Background: ‘Eliot Spitzer Resigns’

Reactions: The media mulls Spitzer’s blunder

Historical Context: ‘Politicians and Sex: How They’re Outed’

Reference: ‘Excerpts from the Spitzer Wiretaps’


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