Eliot Spitzer followed in Hugh Grant's infamous hookin'-boot steps to Jay Leno's couch last night, continuing his string of mea culpas as he looks to re-enter the public arena via a run for New York City comptroller. Leno was to the point, notes the AP, asking the onetime Client No. 9, "Why enter at the 11th hour?" Responded Spitzer, "You know what, there's a position there, which I've written about, thought about, the comptroller's position, from which I think I can actually serve. And I said to myself I want to contribute through public service." Other highlights from the interview, as per Politico:
- On Wall Street: "Wall Street desperately wants me to lose. It's no secret that when I was attorney general and we prosecuted the folks on Wall Street, there was some animus that was generated." He cites a lawyer who warned him ahead of a court filing, "Be careful, we have powerful friends."
- On his downfall: “People who fall prey to hubris, end up falling themselves. And this is something that I think infected me. And the fall from grace is incredibly painful, and is something through which you learn."
- On whether Anthony Weiner paved the way for his return: “No. The public has been forgiving of people in certain circumstances. But that doesn’t mean the public will be forgiving of me as an individual. It needs to see contrition. It needs to see growth. It needs to see that you have changed in some way.”
- On what the family thinks: "My family said yes. We agree that attempting to return to public life is fine."