No comeback in Big Apple
Two poster boys for the self-serving nature of our politics took a drubbing at the polls.
It looks like even New York City residents have their limits when it comes to misbehaving politicians.
Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer and former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner took early leads in the polls after they announced their intentions to return from self-imposed exile and seek political office. But in the face of withering criticism from the news media and their fellow politicians, their support waned. On Tuesday, both men went down to embarrassing defeats.
Spitzer, who resigned in 2008 as governor after being implicated in a prostitution probe, narrowly lost — 52 percent to 48 percent — his bid to win the Democratic Party's nomination for the post of city controller.
Weiner, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives until a sexting scandal resulted in his 2011 resignation, suffered a humiliating defeat in his race for the Democratic nomination for mayor. He collected just 5 percent of the vote (what were those people thinking?). Ever the vulgarian, Weiner topped off the election night by making an obscene gesture to photographers, at least one of whom captured the image.
It would be nice to think that these two defeats would seal the political fates of these two candidates. It would also be unrealistic.
Just by their willingness to seek election to public office after being forced by scandal to vacate their public jobs, these two have shown an inability to step away from the public arena. Call it a sickness, an obsession, narcissism run amok — they seem unable to resist the spotlight, even if the attention can, at times, be personally humiliating.
Thankfully, the voters have quashed the dreams of these would-be comeback kids — at least for now.