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Charlie Gasparino Scoops: Spitzer for Mayor!?

Written By mista sense on Thursday, March 3, 2011 | 2:25 PM

Pretty astonishing, I know, that disgraced ex-governor--and low-rated talk-show host for CNN--Eliot Spitzer would be thinking about running for mayor of New York.  But FBN's Charlie Gasparino has the story in today's New York Post, and reprinted in The Business Insider, including additional names of who might run for the mayorship in 2013.

As Gasparino points out Spitzer was actually a terrible governor during his brief stint:

"Polarizing" doesn't capture the Spitzer effect: During his short stint as governor, he was widely despised even by many fellow Democrats as a bully, threatening or throwing temper tantrums at the slightest provocation. Who needs a tough-talking lightweight as mayor?

And yet as Charlie adds:

His fantasies have been buttressed, I also hear, by his ego-inflating experience as a CNN host (despite its lousy ratings) and the favorable treatment he got in "Client 9," the documentary about his rise and fall, as well as in "Inside Job," the Oscar-winning documentary on the financial crisis.

In both cases, because he was basically saying what they wanted to hear, the directors let him claim that he'd always been on the side of the angels, and that he brought cases that would have stopped the financial crisis if vigorously pursued by the feds.

Sorry: In reality, his work as AG was profoundly uneven. He brought a few good cases, but (as I wrote in Tuesday's Post) never won in court -- not a single one against a major player, Grasso included. He went after headlines, not substance, which is why his record in court was so lousy. He cut deals, allowing big banks to pay fines and escape real reform. Does anyone really believe he "reformed" Wall Street research?

And he might have actually abetted the crisis. He drove out Hank Greenberg as CEO of AIG over accounting irregularities; it was new management put in place to appease Spitzer that let one unit take insane risks, digging the hole that led to AIG's downfall -- a key ingredient in the broader financial collapse.

On top of that, there's his sorry record as governor -- losing every political fight he picked with the entrenched interests; the pathetic "Troopergate" scandal, and the even sadder prostitution mess.

The Cable Gamer believes that Spitzer's inherited fortune is fueling Spitzer's attempted comeback. That  is, he can use family money to buy favors, entre into CNN, and good press in certain circles--maybe even good help muscling out Kathleen Parker.  But Spitzer's money can't buy him the mayorship of NYC--that's hard.  Yes, Mike Bloomberg bought the mayorship in 2001, and a couple of times since, but Bloomberg was a very successful, and very self-made, businessman before running.  Whereas Spitzer has been a rich kid all his life, and it shows.

So here's a question: How long will CNN keep Spitzer around, if his real goal is to run for mayor?  Answer, a long long time, because CNN is basically headquartered in NYC now--Atlanta is a memory for most--and so CNN and Time Warner would love the idea that one of them could be mayor the city.

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