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The Land of Second Chances

by Jerry Bader

The truth is, America has always liked a good comeback story. But in recent years this has morphed into resurrection stories. Spitzer and Weiner weren't down, they were dead, politically. So how did they manage to get back into political contention? My answer; a complete lack of shame. Someone, I don't remember who, pointed this out during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. What if President Nixon had President Clinton's lack of shame and fought the articles of Impeachment that were pending when he resigned. Put another way, Clinton authored the survival strategy of not going away. Spitzer and Wiener have modified it.

Both knew they had to leave office (although Wiener fought it desperately). But neither went away quietly and they didn't stay quiet. They stayed active (Spitzer stayed in the public eye) and waited for the moment to return. The Times is right; Wiener hasn't waited long at all, and you wonder if ultimately voters will realize this.

You could argue that this is the next step in the conversion of politics to reality TV. Even when you're kicked off the island, in this show, you can swim back to shore.