At the New School, Special-Election Theories and Spitzer Memories

022708 spitzer web At the New School, Special Election Theories and Spitzer MemoriesThis morning, the New School hosted a panel discussion on whether Eliot Spitzer can regain his political capital. (The answer is already looking quite different in light of yesterday’s special election.)

Some highlights:

Panelist Wayne Barrett of the Village Voice said “hallelujah!” about yesterday’s results and said Democrats should be given a chance to control the entirety of state government.

Panelist Bill Cunningham, now of Dan Klores Communications, said that Albany’s often-criticized “dysfunction” may actually be considered a form of “self-defense,” protecting the public from the perils of an overactive legislature.

Jacob Gershman of the New York Sun said yesterday’s election was not a referendum on Spitzer so much as it was a rejection of Republicans’ argument that they should be in control of at least one part of government.

Moderator Elaine Rivera of WNYC recalled telling Spitzer that his honeymoon with the media won’t last, and him replying, “What do you mean?”

George Arzt recalled Spitzer telling him that Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver “just doesn’t understand” how important it is to have the support of the state’s newspaper editorial boards.

Panelist Bill Hammond of the Daily News said he experienced Spitzer’s temper before he became governor, over a story that appeared in Hammond’s newspaper but which Hammond had not written.