What his sex scandal has taught the ex-Governor about love, marriage, and moving forward after a fall.
Question: What is love?
Eliot Spitzer: You know, I don’t know. It’s one of these feelings that you sense when you meet somebody and there is a response that is different and is unique, and is palpable. And it then changes over time. In other words, the sort of exaltation of first meeting and falling in love is, I think everybody would admit, is different than the feelings that you might have after 25 years. When my wife is watching this, she may say, “What are you talking about?” But it is. After 25 years, it becomes almost a dependence. And a sense of knowing somebody so well that you have merged as personalities, and know each other’s thoughts and there’s a comfort that is there, which is part of it, and equally important.
Question: What does it take to redeem oneself in public or private life?
Eliot Spitzer: I don’t know if there are either prescribed paths to redemption, or if there is such a thing. I have no illusion that I can ever get this piece of my life to fade significantly to the background. It was too much of a media hysteria about it. And I’m not saying improperly. It’s there. You come to grips with that. All you can do is step back and say, “Okay, move forward and try to continue to do something useful.” And over time, perhaps that will cause people to say, the other piece of his life is one aspect, but there are other aspects as well. But you can’t live or die every day thinking about redemption, you have to move forward and try to do things that are useful and worthwhile and learn.
Recorded January 21, 2010
Interviewed by Austin Allen