Thursday, December 18, 2008

Eliot Spitzer Speaks About the Incoming Treasury Secretary; Reports Losing Money in Madoff Scam

When your political career is shot candor becomes easier.

Spitzer has begun writing a bi-weekly column for Slate, and he attended Slates' Christmas Party, where a group of journalists were able to throw a few questions at him.

Vanity Fair's Maureen Tkacik asked the question that clearly signaled Spitzer's political life is, for now, over, as he gave a lukewarn endorsement of the incoming Treasury Secretary:
I asked Eliot Spitzer what he made of incoming Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, and sure enough he gave a reply markedly lacking in discretion: “Tim is a good guy, but he’s not a thinker. He’s the status quo."
At the party, he also spoke to Henry Blodget:

Add the name Eliot Spitzer to the list of prominent people allegedly ripped off by Wall Street trader Bernard L. Madoff. Yesterday at Slate's holiday party Spitzer, who is writing a column for the online publication, confirmed that his family's firm had investments with a Madoff subsidiary.

The former governor said that he never met Madoff and wasn't into "the Palm Beach scene," which he described as stuffier than he prefers, but did confirm that his family real estate firm lost money. He shrugged his shoulders in a "what can you do" way, and seemed in good spirits as he talked and joked with the crowd of mostly journalists.

At one point, On the Media's Brooke Gladstone, who like Spitzer is Jewish, joked that "Bernie Madoff was worse for the Jews than anyone since David Berkowitz" and Spitzer replied, "Well, I was New York's second Jewish governor and look what I did."
FT's John Gapper asked him about his becoming a wordsmith:

I went over afterwards to ask him how he was enjoying life as a columnist. “It sucks,” he said with a grin. “I used to be governor of New York”.

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