Have Sex Scandals Lost Their Power? Eliot Spitzer Wants to Get Back to Business and Others Agree

(Photo: Reuters)Former New York governor Eliot Spitzer speaks at the Reuters Global Financial Regulation Summit in New York.

While New York City tabloids are having a field day with former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer's five-year-old sex scandal as he seeks the office of the comptroller, the "Sheriff of Wall Street" says he has served his time and just wants to get back to business. And others agree.

"I have spent five years thinking, apologizing, I'm ready to ask for forgiveness," Spitzer revealed to the hosts of MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Wednesday.

And in a Bloomberg Businessweek op-ed on Monday, Joshua Green suggested that it was perhaps time to move on as Mark Sanford's comeback seriously weakened the power of a sex scandal to disqualify people from political office to a certain extent.

"Back in April, I proclaimed the 'death of the political sex scandal,' after former South Carolina Governor, and noted adulterer, Mark Sanford won the Republican primary for a special House election (he went on to defeat Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch to win the seat). Now the political sex scandal is even deader," Green wrote.

"Eliot Spitzer's surprise announcement that he will run for the office of New York City comptroller means the former New York governor reckons – correctly, I'd surmise – that voters are willing to forgive him for the scandal that drove him from office five years ago," noted Green.

With just the right amount of self-assurance, Spitzer told the "Morning Joe" hosts that it was pride that had driven his indiscretions five years ago and the "pain" he suffered since had changed him.

"I failed, I had flaws, made horrific judgments, was unfaithful to my family, to the electorate – that's why I resigned. I stood up and I said I'm holding myself accountable," Spitzer told the hosts.

"In those five years, I've reflected, I have thought, I've taught, I've written, I've done a multitude of things, run our family business, and I now think after five years – a lengthy period of time – and I can go to the public and say 'Look at the totality of who I am,'" he said.

When asked what he had learnt from his reflections, he said: "I realized what I did was not only wrong but was a consequence of hubris and failure of judgment and self-indulgence which is absolutely inexplicable, unjustifiable and improper."

He also made an effort to distinguish his professional and personal lives and touted his skills and experience that qualified him to participate in the capital markets on behalf of New York City.

"There is a difference between public and private lives," said Spitzer, responding to a question about whether lying to the public was disqualifying for a public official. "There is a divide there that is something we do want to think about at a certain point and time."

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Eliot Spitzer Wants Your Forgiveness
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