Daniel Doherty

Serious question: What’s up with disgraced former pols running for public office these days? First it was South Carolina native Mark Sanford, who actually won his bid for congress (although admittedly in a super red district) against comedian Stephen Colbert’s sister. Then there was Anthony Weiner’s decision to run for mayor of New York City -- you know, the former Congressman who literally got caught with his pants down on Twitter. And now, ex-New York Governor Eliot Spitzer -- who resigned soon after the New York Times reported he elicited high-end prostitutes in 2008 -- is running for New York City comptroller.

This ought to be fun:

Eliot Spitzer is re-entering politics to run for New York City comptroller, five years after resigning as New York governor in a prostitution scandal.

"I'm hopeful there will be forgiveness. I'm asking for it," Spitzer, 54, told the New York Times in an interview on its website.

Spitzer, a Democrat, said he saw a more activist role for the comptroller, the city's chief financial officer.

In comments to Reuters, he said he hoped voters were ready to move on and help him fulfill his dream to serve "on behalf of the public once again."

He hoped the financial community would want someone "who understands markets" in the comptroller's office, which he aimed to revitalize the way he did the attorney general's office a decade ago.

The city comptroller manages five pension funds, does budget analyses, and audits city agencies.

Ed Morrissey amusingly notes that Weiner and Spitzer will appear on the same ballot -- along with perhaps another interesting character from the former governor’s past (via The DC):

In a twist of irony, Kristin Davis, the “Manhattan Madam” who admits she supplied Spitzer with escorts, is running as the libertarian candidate for the office Spitzer announced Sunday night he’s running for.

“Kristin Davis vs Eliot Spitzer for NYC comptroller!” Roger Stone, her political consultant, tweeted Sunday night in celebration of Spitzer’s announcement.

With Stone’s help, Davis — convicted in 2008 of promoting prostitution sent to prison for four months — has enjoyed publicly taunting Spitzer. She ran for governor of New York in 2010, for example, and previously threatened to run against Spitzer in 2009 if he ran for state comptroller.

What’s crazy is not that Spitzer is running for public office again -- after all, we saw this coming for a while -- but that he actually might win. Of course, I don’t doubt that he deeply regrets what he did, and obviously sees winning city office as the surest and perhaps only way to feel publicly exonerated for his past indiscretions. But if he couldn’t be trusted the last time he held public office, what makes him trustworthy now, five years later? I’m not sure he is, to be perfectly honest.

Then again, that’s for the voters of New York City to decide -- not me.


Daniel Doherty

Daniel Doherty is Townhall's Deputy News Editor. Follow him on Twitter @danpdoherty.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography