By 11pm, Eliot Spitzer was ready to throw in the towel. At the time, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer had 51.7% of the vote, with 82% of precincts reporting.
Spritzer took the podium, and addressed the cameras and the crowd.
“I called Scott Stringer, congratulated him on his victory tonight, and wish him well as we go forward in his position as comptroller,” the former governor told supporters. (Stringer, in his own acceptance speech, said it was a “very gracious call.”) He added,”I presume and expect him to win this November.”
The rest of Spitzer’s remarks had a distinct air of finality. He reflected on his career in public office, and spoke as if he was closing that specific chapter of his life for good.
“I’ve been honored to serve,” Spitzer said, listing the offices he’s held over the years. He referred to his public service nostalgically, and in the past tense, “For me, politics was never a profession, it was a cause. It was a calling to serve and to try to fight for those issues that we believed in.”
He insisted, “I have never regretted a single day of my public service,” and concluded by saying, “I say to the public: all of us should serve, participate. I intend to do so in different ways.”
If it wasn’t a retirement speech, it sure sounded like one–and it served as a reminder that this was the first chance he’d had to deliver such a speech without a dark cloud of disgrace hanging directly over it.
…Meanwhile, at a more upbeat election night party across town, a newly-anointed Democratic nominee for New York City Comptroller had just one word to express his excitement.
— Scott M. Stringer (@scottmstringer) September 11, 2013