The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Columns

March 13, 2008

The ones you hurt

Elliot Spitzer is a louse.

He cheated on his wife, for one thing, but he cheated on the people who elected him governor of New York, as well.

He’s more than a louse, he’s a hypocrite.

When he was New York’s attorney general, Spitzer went after Wall Street excesses, predatory lenders and small businesses that cheated workers. When he ran for governor, he traded on his reputation as a no-nonsense crusader for truth, justice and all that.

But now he has fallen, tripped by the one body part that spells trouble for so many powerful men — his cheating heart.

He has joined some illustrious ranks. He finds himself in the company of men like Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich and Kobe Bryant.

But, unlike these men, he not only cheated on his wife he paid thousands of dollars for the privilege, up to $80,000 over time, by some accounts.

Prostitution is called a victimless crime, but there are plenty of victims in this case.

At the top of that list is Silda Spitzer, the disgraced former governor’s wife of more than 20 years. The Harvard-educated lawyer (the two met at Harvard in 1984) and amateur painter had to stand beside her husband at two separate press conferences this week, first listening to him admit to a $4,300 tryst with a young woman known to him as Kristen, then watching as he resigned his elected office.

What must she have been thinking as she stood mute by his side? What must she have been feeling?

How could he do that to a woman he claims to love? He obviously regards his marriage vows as mere words, not a lifelong, heartfelt commitment. He has violated the sanctity of his marriage, violated his wife’s trust. That may be a wound that never will heal.

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