Yesterday afternoon, Governor Eliot Spitzer spoke to the people of New York State during his inaugural address and claimed, "Like Rip Van Winkle, New York has slept through much of the past decade while the rest of the world has passed us by." That's some ouchie for outgoing governor George Pataki! Or is that a rebuke on State Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, under federal investigation for dealings with a business partner, who said, "I don't agree with that" or a slam on State Assembly Leader Sheldon Silver, who said, "I think it was very clear that his references were to the prior administration."? But Spitzer did call Bruno and Silver "his good friends."
At any rate, it seems that Spitzer's no-nonsense, desire for ethical politics (ha!) is what most the state needs, the wake of a various revelations and scandals. At least, until the first Spitzer era screw-up. But you have to hand it to a Governor who runs a 2-mile mile in under 14 minutes to start off his term. The NY Times' Clyde Haberman looks at how Pataki's first inaugural speech 12 years ago sounded a lot like Spitzer's call for change and the Daily News' Errol Louis notices the display of diversity at the inaugural.
Other officials sworn in yesterday: Lieutenant Governor David Patterson and Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.
Here's the text of Spitzer's speech and the Times Union has extensive coverage of the day's festivities. And, in a side note, there's some scrutiny over the 24/7 state police security detail Pataki was given. The security deal, approved by Spitzer and the State Ethics Commission, will cost taxpayers $20,000 a week. Attorney General Cuomo endorsed an independent review of the deal, according to the Post, but the NY Times points out that former Mayors Dinkins and Giuliani both had temporary security details after they left office.