Governing Principles

To the Editor:

Re “The Arrogant Governor” [July 16]:

Governor Eliot Spitzer would do well to learn a little history and heed some of his forebears in the Democratic Party. Not only did President Harry Truman understand that, as The Observer put it, “the power of the presidency … is the power to persuade,” but, as Truman also is said to have believed, a great leader is a man who has the ability to get people to do what they don’t want to do, and like it.

Similarly, former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Sam Rayburn had some plain common-sense advice for any politician—namely, “If you want to get along, go along.”

Unfortunately, it appears that Mr. Spitzer has been blinded by his landslide victory of 2006 and that he expected the entrenched powers in Albany to just roll over and rubber-stamp whatever he proposed. How naïve.

Steven Morris
East Hampton, N.Y. Governing Principles