The Touchable

Eliot Spitzer, Tortured Straight-Arrow Governor, Becomes Client 9 Forever


In retrospect, Eliot Spitzer’s first year in office—during which time he lost high-profile fights with the Democratic Assembly and the Republican Senate, and introduced an initiative so toxic it nearly derailed Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign—only seemed like a disaster.

The revelation, broken this week on the Web site of The New York Times, that he paid thousands of dollars for a prostitute to meet him Washington, is the real thing.

It’s not simply that Mr. Spitzer has systematically alienated virtually everyone in Albany—Republican or Democrat—meaning that he has no political allies in his time of need. Or that he has managed to turn his considerable popular mandate to dust. MORE …

Next: David Paterson, Harlem-Bred Reformer


Sometimes, no one notices Lieutenant Governor David Paterson at all.

Like on Jan. 20, when Mr. Paterson arrived early at a Hillary Clinton campaign event at Harlem’s Abyssinian Baptist Church and kept out of the cold with his wife, some campaign officials and a handful of reporters in the church’s foyer. The reporters read the paper.

Other times, he gets lots of attention, often because he has said something frank or impolitic. During an earlier visit to the same church in October, for example, his introduction of Mrs. Clinton included an indiscreet allusion to the usually taboo subject of who would take Mrs. Clinton’s Senate seat if she won the presidency.

“Everybody’s moving up,” he said.MORE …

How Times Got That Story—Rashbaum’s Tip, Sexton’s Team Hits Jackpot


At 2 p.m. on March 10, The New York Times published a story on its Web site reporting that Governor Eliot Spitzer had been named in connection with a federal investigation into a prostitution ring.

And the story belonged, unequivocally, to the Cinderella section of the Times newsroom, the Metro desk. Joe Sexton, editor of the section since 2006, was finally getting to try on the glass slipper: The Spitzer story was arguably the biggest scoop in a year at The Times, and was certainly the biggest story of Joe Sexton’s reign at Metro. MORE …

The Touchable