During his State of the State address yesterday, Governor Eliot Spitzer showed what eating humble pie can do, with a collegial plea for fellow lawmakers to "work together for the common good, despite any political or personal differences." After an embarrassing first year of missteps, Spitzer hopes to build bridges, rather than steamroll over them, by taking up ideas he previously scorned like capping property taxes. Here's how editorials rated the speech:
- The Times-Union wonders whether Spizter's proposals will gain ground after last year. "How much of a toll will his bitter feud [with almost everyone in Albany]...take on his bold agenda? There's still no answer, but there's hope for a truce."
- The NY Times: "Mr. Spitzer’s new style is a better one, but even a more diplomatic governor should not back away from the fights that really matter," referring to his desire to reform campaign financing.
- The Post: "The gov's right that New York faces huge challenges. So we'll continue to hope for his success in making New York 'the best place in the world to live, work and raise a family,' as he put it." BUT the Post also blasts Spitzer's idea to sell off lottery revenues, "It's exactly the kind of shenanigans, cynicism and dysfunction Spitzer was elected to end."
- The Daily News liked how he tackled property taxes and the SUNY/CUNY system (the "big magillas") but "He will need to show more skill than he has in the past to sell his ideas to the public and maneuver them through the Legislature while operating in the full light of day." And the News wants "Spitzer's vision for where SUNY and CUNY should be in five or 10 years, and how students will benefit."
- Newsday was encouraged: "Inside the speech's package were many good ideas, from a state 'peace corps' for doctors to a renewed emphasis on revitalizing upstate. But the wrapping was also important - an offer of an open door and an open mind. In contrast to the 2007 model steamroller, this is the Spitzer we endorsed, and the one we hope to see consistently in 2008."
For fun: Capitol Confidential's tally of things like shout-outs, boos/hisses, and applause.