Archive for December 16, 2007

Eliot Spitzer is Reading the Wrong Book – By George J. Marlin

December 16, 2007

Governor Spitzer’s handlers have been hyping his reading of Robert Wesser’s 1967 book, Charles Evans Hughes:  Politics and Reform in New York, 1905-1910.  The Wesser work was referred to in The New Yorker profile, “The Humbling of Eliot Spitzer” and in the December 2 edition of the Times, their resident New York historian, Sam Roberts, opined on Hughes tenure in the executive mansion.  When asked about the fuss, spokeswoman Christine Anderson said Spitzer “believes in the value of learning from the experiences of effective governors who came before him.”

Readers should know that Republican Charles Evans Hughes, who served as New York’s governor from 1905-1910, was an ineffective and aloof elitist who lacked the political skills to tame Albany.  According to Professor Wesser, Hughes “insecure as a politician and possessing a profound dislike for political manipulation … abandoned the traditional ways of quietly cajoling unwilling colleagues into accepting his program…. Though his personal campaigns achieved a remarkable degree of success, their value was limited and not always did they alone assure an administration victory.” (more…)