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USA lever på den amerikanske drømmen: den krever noen helter. Eliot Spitzer var en american hero: han var tøff mot de tøffe og folk ga ham stort slingringsmonn. Noen vil si hans fall var tragisk. Men det er ikke det. Tragedie er noe annet. Spitzer begikk det man ikke kan kalle annet enn en stor synd: han syndet først og fremst mot sin konen Silda Wall Spitzer og de tre barna. Og han forrådte befolkningen i New York som valgte ham, og institusjonene han var satt til å tjene. Hvorfor? New York Times har en interessant profil på en begavet mann. Det er nesten noe Scott Fitzgerald-aktig over mannen, som solgte seg for noen timer med en luksusprostituert.

He might be intense and sometimes profane, but he sold these traits as the necessary downside of his crusading style. So he became the «new Untouchable» or, in Time magazine, the «tireless crusader.»

Mr. Spitzer cast himself, self-consciously, as the alpha male, with a belief in the clarifying power of confrontation. Long predawn runs, fierce basketball games: He did nothing at half-speed. «Listen, I’m a steamroller,» he told a State Assembly leader in his first days as governor, adding an unprintable adjective into the mix for emphasis.

Soon enough, his enemies and even admirers and friends came to affix another adjective to his name: reckless. So often the new governor seemed to accumulate enemies for sport, to threaten rivals with destruction when an artful compromise and a disingenuous slap on the back might do just as well.

«I am not naturally suited to this job,» he told a reporter recently, and perhaps he knew more than he was letting on.

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