In 1804 Aaron Burr, Vice President to Thomas Jefferson, ended his political career with a duel against Alexander Hamilton. By stepping beyond the lines of acceptable behavior, Burr killed any future he might have sought in US politics.
In 2013, the likes of Eliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner publicly shamed themselves with displays of poor judgment and behavior that went beyond the pale of social acceptability. Perhaps the electorate has a Pollyanna expectation that leaders lead by good example.
Even with those hopes dashed, one would think that reelection would be out of the question. Welcome to the 21st century: Spitzer will be on a New York City ballot running as the city’s comptroller.
Not SO bad?
Let’s review. While governor of New York, Spitzer made some bad choices that involved prostitutes. For a family man with a wife and three daughters, it did not go over well. The New York-based escort service, Emperors Club VIP, provided Spitzer with female companionship for a number of years. The story of his infidelities and their illegal nature took the nation by storm in March 2008. His resignation soon followed.
How to lose a wife
Five years later, some of the dust has settled after Spitzer’s wife, Silda, stayed by her man through the worst of the firestorm. Infidelity rocks a marriage. Infidelity in the political limelight? Devastating.
As her husband looks to make a comeback, Silda is distancing herself from the campaign. She decided not to join Eliot on the campaign trail. When asked about it at a campaign stop in the Bronx, Spitzer replied, “”I think it’s fair to say I’m running for office. No other member of my family is running for office. And I think the public is going to judge me, not who else is with me or not with me. She’s got a career. There are other things I think the public appreciates — I’m out here fighting every day for them.”
Divorce requires no ballot
Sources say that Silda and Eliot live separate lives already. The infamous gossip column, Page Six, shared the details of their estrangement this past May. Considering the years that have passed since the sex scandal and the fact that Silda is waiting until after the election to file for divorce, perhaps it will be an amicable parting. One can only speculate on which straw broke the proverbial camel’s back, but Mrs. Spitzer “has had enough […] she is done with him.”
In general, Silda is a class act whose penchant for privacy kept her from ever commenting on her husband’s taste for prostitutes. While she is not communicating with the media, multiple sources confirm her unhappiness at Eliot’s decision to re-enter politics which again places their relationship into the public eye.
The election camp may have their work cut out for them to turn bad publicity into good. As of right now, the response is “We will not comment on the absurd barrage of stories about his personal life.”
Absurd? That’s a stretch. But it is believed that Silda has yet to hire divorce attorneys. Neither confirmed nor denied, this point could be moot if she and her husband have already come to an agreement. The November election is fast approaching and there will be time enough to begin divorce proceedings in the fall.
As a woman who eschews public exposure of her personal life, this is no surprise. And, as a mother, she is surely looking to shield her daughters from the worst of the blows that divorce can deliver. Breaking up is hard to do, harder when children are involved, and harder still when the nation sticks its nose in your business.