July 17, 2007

The Steamroller in the Swamp

The first few paragraphs here are from a recent New York Magazine article. Because of the length, I could not publish the entire story, but I have put a link to the full story.

The Steamroller in the Swamp
Is Eliot Spitzer changing Albany? Or is Albany changing him?

By Steve Fishman

A few months ago, I asked Governor Eliot Spitzer about his temper, the most popular subject in Albany. This was before Spitzer got into an all-out war with State Senate majority leader Joe Bruno, before Bruno called Spitzer “a rich spoiled brat” and his staff “thugs” and “hoodlums,” before Spitzer may or may not have called Bruno “senile,” before the machinery of government seemed to skid to a halt.

The day we met, Spitzer was dressed in his usual snowy-white shirt, firmly knotted rep tie, dark prosecutor’s suit, and black dress shoes.

“You have a talent for confrontation,” I ventured. “Your signature tactic has been to confront people and show your temper.”

“The full Spitzer,” aides call his angry outbursts, which, in one form or another, were often on display in the early days of his term. In the first weeks, Spitzer singled out one Democratic legislator who defied him. “Bill Magnarelli is one of those unfortunate Assembly members who just raises his hand when he’s told to do so,” he told Magnarelli’s hometown newspaper. Not long after, he famously shouted at Republican minority leader James Tedisco, “I’m a fucking steamroller, and I’ll roll over you.”



Mr. Pink said...

I hope the Governor finds the balance between agressive change agent and diplomat. Ask Joel Giambra how well trying to run over a Legislature works. Ask Governor Pataki how rolling over for special interests like 1199 worked out....both strategies were failures.

You need to have core beliefs and realistic goals. Things you draw a line in the sand over and things you're willing to give up to get those core things done. Spitzer seems to be a brick wall that won't budge and then suddely it collapse, a la the state budget.

Steven J said...

He's a self-proclaimed steamroller. Good for him, roll on.