Spitzer: Paradigm-Shifter or Politician?

There’s an interesting back-and-forth over the meaning of Eliot Spitzer for Democrats and liberals at the Daily Gotham, where Daniel Millstone asked whether Spitzer “spits at Working Families Party bills,” and Bouldin responded by calling the analysis “jaw-droppingly obtuse.”

Bouldin’s reasoning:

This guy is a game-changer and paradigm-shifter. When he gets elected, if we assume present trends continue, he’s going to have the largest mandate and consequently the greatest power of any governor of this state since, perhaps, Rockefeller. I hesitate to say Lehman, since he had the Senate as well for a time, but our friends at the NY-DSCC are on the beach until 2008. Whatever the proper comparison, Spitzer is going to be a very powerful governor, that much is clear. His prior record as Attorney General does not suggest acquiescence to the status quo; it does suggest that the man grasps what power is, and how to use it.

Eliot Spitzer says he is going to change this state from Day One. I see no reason not to take him at his word.

Millstone responds with a comment entitled “We Can Support Spitzer Without Having a Crush on Him”:

As I see it,

1) Spitzer has a good record as AG

2) 12 Years of Pataki as Gov. have not been wonderful.

3) We should support Spitzer; he seems on record and program to be a better candidate than his opponents.

4) Spitzer’s a politician. We should not “take him at his word” or expect paradigm-shifts from elected officals.

It’s not a stretch to imagine Spitzer winning with a mandate, although — as this exchange suggests — the more pertinent question for his supporters is what he plans to do with it.

Thoughts?

– Josh Benson