Niagara Gazette — You have to wonder how people judge political candidates.
One New York City reporter checking the results of a recent poll showing former Gov. Eliot Spitzer leading in the race for city controller came up with this lead on the story: Client 9 is No. 1.
It was an obvious reference to the disgraced politician who resigned — he had no alternative — after it was revealed that he had spent thousands of dollars as a client in a prostitution ring. In fact, he would have identified himself as “Client No.9” that spring day in 2008 when he placed a cell phone message from the parking lot of Shorty’s Ultimate Bar & Grill (the former Honey’s Pizzeria), Pine Avenue, to a call-girl in Washington, D.C. After his “official visit” to Niagara Falls, he reportedly would have a date waiting for him in the nation’s capital. A few days later he resigned from office with his distraught wife, Silda Wall Spitzer, at his side, looking like her world had just collapsed.
Lo and behold! Spitzer’s the center of attention again — five years later —running in the New York City controller’s race. He still exudes that air of arrogrance. Even as he asks people for forgiveness, he sounds abrasive.
When he walked in Manhattan a few days ago to his sidewalk press conference — the turnout more fitting for a rock star — a bystander shouted, “You’re late! What did you do, get tied up with a hooker?”
Spitzer didn’t bat an eye. He’d heard it all. He just smiled like he did a couple days later when the initial poll showed he was leading his opponent, Scott Stringer, 42 percent to 33 percent in the Democrat primary for controller. Like a friend of mine always says, “What a country!”
OFF THE PRESS: If you’re interested in learning about the generally forgotten War of 1812, the National Geographic has published an excellent summary. The small (5-by-7-inch), 128-page booklet ($13.95) is packed with attractive maps and texts on iconic parks, historic sites and battlefield. Old Fort Niagara, as you would expect, is featured on several pages.