Monday, January 01, 2007

Notes From The Swearing In

The first post for 2007 and fittingly Liz's blow by blow description of Eliot's swearing in ceremony and gathering.........andy

At midnight, in front of the fireplace in the executive mansion family room (where all of the family photos of former Gov. George Pataki and his wife and children have already been replaced with Spitzer family photos) U.S. District Court Justice Robert W. Sweet issued the oath of office to Eliot Spitzer, joking that he had last done so in 1984 when Spitzer served as his law clerk.
“You and Silda together have achieved this unique and extraordinary approval from the voters,” Sweet said. “It promises progress for all New Yorkers and in order to empower you to perform this task would you please raise your right hand, place your hand on the Bible and repeat after me.”
Eliot Spitzer was standing at the fireplace with his wife and three daughters (Elyssa, 17; Sarabeth, 14; and Jenna, 12) and his parents, Bernard and Anne. Silda’s parents, Bob and Trilby Wall, were also there. Spitzer put his hand on the Bible – the same Bible his parents gave to him when he was sworn in to the state attorney general’s office for the first time in 1998, and repeated the oath in a very loud and clear voice.
“I, Eliot Spitzer, do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of New York and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the governor of the state of New York according to the best of my abilities. So help me God.”
There was a big cheer, and a cry from somewhere in the crowd of: ”Go get ‘em, Eliot!”
After his swearing in, Spitzer raised a glass of white wine in a toast. He noted the portraits hanging around the room – all of which are new to the house from the state archives. The portrait of TR, behind him above the mantle, FDR, Gov. Al Smith, Gov. Hugh Carey (who was present).
“As I was just informed, Day One has begun,” he declared, to a resounding cheer. “It is a joy to be here. It will be exciting. I will do my best as the public has asked me to do.”
He noted a copy of the U.S. Constitution from the Poughkeepsie Convention at which the state decided to approve ratification hanging in the mansion, which is on loan from the state Archives. He joked that Article I, which discussed the powers of the Legislature, is discussed in the portion on display.
“By next week, I can promise you Article 2 will be posted,” Spitzer declared (Article 2 deals with executive power).
On hand to hear that quip was Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan; state Assemblyman Herman “Denny” Farrell Jr., the former state Democratic chairman; and Assemblyman Mark Weprin, D-Queens.

The Spitzers’ dogs - Jesse (derives from the first lettter of each family member’s first name), a Bichon frise, and James, a Wheaton terrier, were mingling freely with the guests. Early on, James spent some time barking furiously at NY Post gossip columnist Cindy Adams, who was resplendant in a bright red ruffled dress with a bow at the neck.
Perhaps it was her gold and red feather headpiece to which he took offense?
Drinks: Saratoga water, red and white New York wine, a 12-litre Balthazar of Veuve Clicquot purchased by Spitzer’s friend, former law partner, tennis partner and transition co-chair, Lloyd Constantine, who used a wrench to open the bottle, breaking its lip and cutting his hand in the process.
Eats: Smoked salmon on toast, prosciutto-wrapped melon balls, mini chocolate tarts, chocolate chip cookies.
Music: Live acoustic guitar and keyboard.
Spitzer wore a dark blue suit with a bright blue tie and white shirt. Silda Wall Spitzer wore black velvet pants and a dark blue ruffled blouse (Escada, according to Adams). The girls wore dresses.

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