With Eliot Spitzer suddenly looking like a grownup, you know it's time for a short break from the campaign trail. So while I plan to go to political detox for a week, I'm trying to envision scenarios in which John Edwards and Jim McGreevey decide to run for Public Advocate or Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans a whitewater raft trip all the way to the governor's mansion next year.
The bizarreness of New York politics never ceases to amaze me. We live in a state in which its former Chief Judge dressed up like a cowboy and stalked his ex-girlfriend and where a mayor held a press conference to tell his wife that they're getting divorced.
In the good old days when New York politicians were in trouble, they left town. Former Mayor Jimmy Walker sailed for France while Bill O'Dwyer took shelter in Mexico after resigning from City Hall. Now, embarrassed pols seem to need to wear a sandwich board and neon lights and go on a five-borough redemption campaign while being batted around like a giant piñata by the tabloids.
Maybe we should all praise Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer for getting New Yorkers very much interested in politics again. But it's sort of like a Space Shuttle explosion causing everyone to suddenly follow NASA. The latest round of polls show that the mayor's race and the city comptroller's campaign are again in flux. Like someone who's left too much fruit in the refrigerator crisper, I'm a little worried about what I'll find when I come back.