So now NYC voters can choose TWO political horndogs this electoral season — “The Tweeting” Weiner AND “Black Socks” Spitzer both trying to make comebacks this year. The stars are surely aligned. Suddenly, NYC politics are a lot more interesting but is this a good thing for voters?
The question for all of us is whether bad personal behavior has anything at all to do with being a good mayor, comptroller or for that matter, President of the United States. You think it does matter? If so, I give you Presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and good old Bill Clinton. Each of them was a horndog in chief while they were in office. They all had mistresses and behaved poorly behind closed doors.
If we’re to believe a recent memoir by Mimi Alford — “Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath” — JFK might have been the worst of them all. JFK had several mistresses including Mimi who was a 19-year-old intern when the President noticed her. He casually had sex with her and then told her if she was hungry “the kitchen’s right there.”
She claims that JFK even suggested Mimi — whose affair with the world’s most powerful man lasted 18 months — “take care of” baby brother Ted. She drew the line at that although she almost never refused anything JFK suggested. It’s a shocking book and didn’t get quite the press I would have imagined. If any politician tried anything near that, he’d surely be impeached [see, Clinton, Bill for that example.]
So now we in NYC have Weiner and Spitzer running for public office. Everyone will draw their own moral line in the ballot box with these two (if it even gets that far for Spitzer). I myself can see voting for Weiner who not only did not commit a crime — he didn’t even have sex!!To me, his ‘crime’ was generational. I’ll bet those under 30 do not see Weiner’s transgressions in as poor a light as the older generation. [Update: Okay so since I wrote this original blog post, Weiner has admitted to continuing his tweeting obsession beyond his resignation from Congress and Sydney Leathers has become a common name in the news. Disgusting for sure. Can’t vote for this guy anymore; Weiner, you coulda been something.]
But I cannot vote of Spitzer for many reasons: he’s an out and out hypocrite, he broke the law and he’s an elitist born with a silver spoon in his mouth. That’s a trifecta for me. Furthermore, I like Scott Stringer who’s running for Comptroller on the Democratic line. He’s everything Spitzer is not and sometimes, you want the good guy to finish first.