Spitzer: Hooked on Covert Ops

Ex-gov spent career trying to ditch silver spoon image
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2008 5:05 PM CDT

(Newser) – Eliot Spitzer didn't patronize a pricey call girl ring just for the sex, Chris Smith writes in a  provocative New York post-mortem. What really attracted him was the covert op. The silver-spoon-fed Ivy Leaguer was always rebelling against being squeaky clean; as a young prosecutor, he got "hooked on the clandestine" while running stings on the Gambino crime family.

If he “could never be an old-school neighborhood guy," Smith writes, his money could at least buy him "a taste of the edgy, subterranean life.” His prosecutorial aggression didn't play well in Albany, and an effort to entrap and embarrass a rival, a tactic had worked well on Wall Street, backfired. "For years Spitzer had been reckless," Smith writes. "But when he found himself thwarted as governor, Spitzer’s recklessness sloshed over into his personal life."