Is Spitzer Right?

Hey, heard anything about Eliot Spitzer this afternoon? Well he just finished the world's shortest press conference, in which he issued what was, in the ...
by | March 10, 2008
 

Spitzer Hey, heard anything about Eliot Spitzer this afternoon?

Well he just finished the world's shortest press conference, in which he issued what was, in the words of one of my Governing colleages, "a non-denial apology" for his involvement with a prostitution ring.

Spitzer said one thing that especially caught my attention:

"I do not believe that politics in the long run is about individuals. It is about ideas [and] the public good...."

Is he right? Well, experientially, no, not in the U.S.  Needless to say, plenty of politicians have been brought down because of personal indiscretions.

But the bigger question might be this: Should Spitzer be right? Should politics be solely about ideas and the public good?

I think I might make the distinction that governing (with a lower-case "g") is about ideas and the public good, but politics is about the individual. And it's politics that's much more likely to make headlines -- and to draw the most interest.

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