- A man in a position to thwart the FED and bring
Bush before the Courts turns out to be much more Jew than People's Savior.
Can he have been arrogant and stupid, or just hesitant to turn Jews against
him? The Jew Greg Palast says he was stupid and arrogant and his hubris
brought him down.
- Knowing that Bush has nevcr been afraid of being
brought before any Court, I feel that Eliot Spitzer has brought the FED,
Wall Street and Bush before the highest Court in the Universe--PUBLIC OPINION.
- Therefore, CNN, the Wall Street Journal and other international corporate
owned mass media of misinformation are NOT telling it like it is. They
are not keeping it real.
- Personally, I forgive Eliot his trespasses and admire
his wanting to be free of religious commitments. A free mind is a kingdom
- Beatrice Irby Smith
- Fallen Eliot Spitzer Was A Favorite Son
Of A Tribe He Never Quite Embraced
- News Analysis
- By Anthony Weiss
- In the last statewide public opinion poll taken before
news broke of Eliot Spitzer's involvement in a high-priced prostitution
ring, the New York governor's approval rating was below 50% for every major
demographic group, except one: his fellow Jews.
- For much of his career, Spitzer was a source of great
pride to Jews, with some supporters referring to him as having the potential
to become the first Jewish president. In the blogosphere, that closeness
was portrayed as simple ethnic pride; when the scandal broke, the Web site
Gawker proclaimed it a "Shanda fur die Goyim."
- And yet, while Spitzer may have been of the Jews, in
many ways he did not come across as particularly Jewish. He never projected
the folksy charm of Joe Lieberman, not to mention the Connecticut senator's
religious observance. Nor did the former governor seem as comfortable among
Jews as New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg - who, like Spitzer, moves in
well-heeled circles and is not religiously observant. Even Mario Cuomo,
the long-serving Italian American governor of New York, projected an ethnic
credibility that was almost more overtly Jewish than Spitzer's persona.
- "He was more WASP than he was Jew," said Hank
Sheinkopf, a Democratic political consultant who worked on several of Spitzer's
campaigns. "He was much more comfortable in Princeton than in an Orthodox
- So why, then, was he embraced as a favorite Jewish son?
According to some observers, the hopes invested by Jews in Spitzer, and
the corresponding heartbreak over his fall, point to a far deeper and more
complicated bond than simple ethnic solidarity. Spitzer was caught by the
push and pull of two strains of Jewish politics. On the one hand, he seemed
uncomfortable with the clannishness of retail Jewish politicking and appears
not to have felt a part of that clan at all. But he also embodied the streak
of reform-minded liberalism that has been the backbone of Jewish politics
for more than a century. Despite his privileged background, he kept an
outsider's zeal for purging corruption from the political system. Though
some Jews were alienated by his refusal to offer them special attention,
far more were attracted by that same rectitude. Spitzer's high-mindedness
held the loyalty of Jewish voters even when the rest of his support had
- To speak of Spitzer's "Jewishness" is to wade
into murky territory. On the one hand, Spitzer's background presents all
the familiar signifiers of a traditional Jewish family. His father, Bernard,
grew up in a tenement on Manhattan's Lower East Side; he met his wife,
Anne, in the Catskills and graduated from City College. Then Bernard went
into real estate, where he made a fortune, and Anne became a teacher.
- But their children were raised in a different world.
The New York Times reported that Spitzer did not have a religiously observant
upbringing, nor did he have a bar mitzvah. He attended the tony Horace
Mann School, and from there went on to Princeton and then to Harvard Law
School. After he married, he and his non-Jewish wife, Silda Wall, raised
their family in a Fifth Avenue apartment owned by Spitzer's parents.
- On one of the few occassions that Spitzer did speak about
his Jewishness, he connected his values to his upbringing - but underscored
the difference between his parents and himself. "I would say that
my values are very much a product of a household in which both parents
who raised me were more observant than I have been," he told the Jewish
Week in 1998, shortly after he was first elected attorney general.
- Perhaps as a result of this distinction, Spitzer sometimes
seemed to approach Jewish issues almost as an outsider, fascinated by the
clannish concerns of other Jews. William Rapfogel, executive director of
the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty and a member of Spitzer's transition
team, said that before traveling to Israel, Spitzer questioned him about
the Jewish connection to the Jewish state.
- "He was interested in how the Jewish community related
so intensely. It was not a part of his upbringing," Rapfogel said.
"There was a real, genuine curiosity."
- But there was also an uneasiness. During Spitzer's time
as attorney general, investigations by his office of prominent Jewish organizations,
as the Forward has reported, were suffused with complications. One Orthodox
organization was let off the hook without a binding settlement, despite
clear indications of problems; however, the investigation of an international
Jewish body resulted in a harshly critical final report that forced one
of its officers to be removed from power. Both incidents elicited comment
from observers, with some speculating that he was too tough on the Jews
- and others saying that he was not tough enough.
- That uncertain relationship between Spitzer and his Jewishness
made it difficult for some to pin down precisely how he was Jewish at all.
- "He couldn't run away from being a Jew - his name
was Eliot Spitzer," Assemblyman Dov Hikind told the Forward. "That
might've been the most Jewish thing about him."
- But to his Jewish supporters, Spitzer's brand of Jewishness
lay not in a narrow identification but in the universal values he espoused.
It was the collapse of those values that made the final heartbreak so painful.