True story: Five years ago, a few months after Eliot Spitzer resigned in disgrace, I was having breakfast with a friend who’d just suffered a serious and painful loss when a civic project in which he deeply believed and in which he had sunk a great deal of capital went bust.
Spitzer, in jogging gear, came into the restaurant, spotted us, and ran over to the table. “So you’re out of business?” said the ex-governor with a bizarre grin. “I mean, come on, it was never going to work, right? You knew that, right?”
His behavior was so glaringly inappropriate, so tonally deaf and such a weird assault for a man who had supposedly been humbled as he had been humbled, that I figured something out I had not understood until that moment: Eliot Spitzer is nuts.
I don’t mean he’s nuts in a tinfoil-hat sense. I mean that he doesn’t respond to reality in a normal way, and therefore misjudges reality and himself.
Remember that Spitzer took office in a colossal landslide victory in 2006, a victory that gave him unprecedented leeway. He then proceeded systematically to destroy himself.