Yesterday, former governor Eliot Spitzer spoke at Harvard University's ethics center to discuss big business and government, much to the dismay of one of the madams he used for his dalliances with escorts. He mostly discussed the economic crisis, but he did answer a question about the prostitution scandal that brought down his poltiical career. According to the NY Times, a man "with a long gray ponytail sticking out of his baseball hat," began, "I may sound like a conspiracy theorist," and then asked if there were "'ulterior motives' behind the timing of the disclosure of the prostitution ring that he said was leaked to the news media."
Spitzer responded, "I won’t respond to it, and it’s not material to why I resigned," but added, "I resigned because it was the right thing to do. The actions were wrong, and why they were made public doesn’t relate to anything I did, and it doesn’t excuse it." Otherwise, Spitzer was in "Sheriff of Wall Street" mode, telling the audience, "Too big to fail is too big not to fail. There are only two people who seem not to get that so far: [Former University President and National Economic Council Director] Larry Summers and [Treasury Secretary] Tim Geithner." (Video of some of his remarks after the jump.)
The director of the Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics, Professor Lawrence Lessig, said it was important to hear from Spitzer "because he has an extraordinary breadth of experience... There should not be any doubt about the behavior. It was wrong - to himself, to his family, and to supporters. But we’re not asking him to give theories on personal ethical behavior." Tell that to the Post's Andrea Peyser, who headed up to Harvard and reports, "He repeatedly mispronounced the name of author Ayn Rand, the subject of his talk. (It's pronounced 'Eyen,' Eliot, not 'Ann.') And, like a victim of brain damage who forgets how he got there, Eliot plumb forgot he once served as governor of New York."