Eliot, the New Shelly

So how should we interpret the snub of Sheldon Silver from the Eliot Spitzer-backed screening panel yesterday, which failed to recommend any Assembly Democrats for the vacant comptroller position?

The panel delivered exactly what Spitzer want: a slate of people who are ostensibly Albany outsiders. It’s visible proof, as far as Spitzer is concerned, that he’s willing to live up to his rhetoric about changing Albany, and that he’s not the naive, political newbie learning how to deal with the entrenched pros.

For the aforementioned pros, though, it’s something else: a statement about Spitzer’s raw power and ambition.

“It’s an example of Spitzer as Rudy Giuliani, pre-9/11 of course,” said a Democratic lawmaker. “I’ll do whatever I want, too bad if you don’t like it.'”

Or, as one source sympathetic to one of the snubbed candidates put it: “From three men in a room to one.”

— Azi Paybarah Eliot, the New Shelly