A Trap for Eliot?

It’s not really a surprise that the editor of Chief Executive Magazine, William Holstein, is not a fan of Eliot Spitzer.

But his open letter to Eliot is interesting in that it lays out a line of attack that’s starting to crystalize: Depicting the AG as a failed prosecutor.

“In short, you haven’t been successful, and that’s the message that is going to be communicated to voters. You are committed to a course of action in which you are going to run for the governorship having failed to demonstrate that your crusade was much more than politically motivated witch-hunting. Aside from a couple of early wins regarding Wall Street analysts and the like, you didn’t really serve the cause of justice.

“We have argued in Chief Executive that you should resign to avoid the conflict of interest between your roles as attorney general and candidate. You didn’t take the advice. So how are you going to escape the trap that you’ve set for yourself?”

Is it actually a trap? The wins against “Wall Street analysts and the like” remain a pretty big deal. And Chief Executive is not, as its title suggests, a populist organ. (Another piece by Holstein on the Web site: “The Quiet Debate Among CEOs: Are We American Companies or Not?”) So perhaps its readers aren’t the worst people with whom to pick public fights, even (gasp) during a race for public office. We’ll see.