Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Eliot Spitzer....the Man of Steel????

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle


Spitzer's steel

He showed it in a speech that invoked an era of reform in N.Y.

(January 2, 2007) — Gov. Eliot Spitzer's inaugural address Monday was full of allusions to past New York governors, from DeWitt Clinton to Franklin Roosevelt. But the motivational tone of his stirring, 20-minute speech clearly was Kennedyesque, as in President Kennedy's famous 1961 inaugural.
Spitzer, as did Kennedy, strove not only to present an agenda for reform but to ask the people to be part of a new era of leadership. It is to be marked by "fairness'' in policy, change in the substance and style of government and a rejuvenated Capitol where politicians act for the public good, not their own. It's a great vision. And the Rochester region, trying to build jobs and hope, needs it to come true.
This is an energetic new governor who comes to office with the same attitude of unstoppable confidence that made his tenure as attorney general so successful. But unstoppable forces tend eventually to meet immovable objects, and for Spitzer that will be the Legislature, the home of the "politics of division and cynicism" that he excoriated in his speech.
As he spoke, Spitzer spared his audience much of the high-flown rhetoric that can dominate the first major speech of a new governor. This is a politician who wants to go to work, not talk about the work he will do.
Indeed, hours before Spitzer walked hand-in-hand with his family to the podium in the first outdoor gubernatorial inaugural in New York's history — yet another link to the young Kennedy of 1961 — the new governor took the oath of office in a private ceremony. He then issued executive orders that set new ethical standards for his administration and required more openness in executive agencies and departments.
There will be a honeymoon — there always is — but soon Spitzer will run up against the special-interest wall that for so long has controlled legislative politics in New York. The new governor alluded to, for instance, entrenched partisan control, reflected in the legislative re-election rate exceeding 90 percent. It's an important issue. But the opposition from lawmakers will be fierce.
Spitzer is known to be pretty fierce himself. His inaugural address was tempered steel. To succeed, he'll need just plain steel."

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