If nothing else, it’s fuel for Saturday Night Live (and The Good Wife). Eliot Spitzer, the former governor of New York who resigned in 2008 following a prostitution scandal, has announced plans to run for New York City comptroller. The kicker: Among his opponents is Kristin Davis, the madam who served jail time in the wake of his scandal.
Following an interview that ran in Sunday’s New York Times, Spitzer appeared on CBS This Morning to further discuss his decision. Watch the chat below. Asked why he thinks people should trust him or like him, he had his response ready: “First, I wouldn’t say they should. I want to ask them to, and I think there’s a difference there that is important. I want to say, ‘Look, I had a long career as a prosecutor, as attorney general, as governor. I sinned, I owned up to it, I looked them in the eye, I resigned. I held myself accountable.’ I think that was the only right thing to do. It’s now five years later, and I hope they look back at what I did as attorney general, and as governor, as a prosecutor and say, ‘You know what, this guy was ahead of the curve on the Wall Street issues. He protected low-wage workers, on the environment….’ There’s a record there that I hope they will look to and say, ‘Yes, the comptroller’s position is one that fits his skill set and we hope that we can bring him back for public service.’”
Spitzer also said there is forgiveness in the public, but that you never know to whom it will extend. He expects he’ll keep making his case for it every day until the election. He shot down reports that he and his wife are separated (Good Wife viewers know how crucial her support will be in the race). And when Gayle King showed him the New York Post headline — Here We Ho Again — he outlined his strategy to withstand the jokes that will be coming his way. “You need will power, you need fortitude, you need skin as thick as a rhinoceros has, and you need a desire to serve the public…”
Spitzer, who’s spent the past few years hosting short-lived cable new shows, handled himself well. He laughed in all the right spots, like when co-host Norah O’Donnell began a question about his ego with “And I mean no disrespect” (“When I lead a question with that, I know it means trouble,” he laughed) and when Gayle King said Davis’ response to him joining the race was “Bring it on” (“This is politics,” he chuckled).