Where is John Adams When We need Him?
Rita Papazian
Norwalk-Citizen News
March 21, 2008 

      Who would have thought that Passion Week would have such connotation.  Here, we are preparing for one of the most sacred holidays in the liturgical calendar, and our eyes and ears continue to be bombarded with screaming headlines and streaming live Internet installments of the sexcapades of two of the metropolitan New York ex-governors. We, as a state, remember our own former governor’s fall from grace and remember Connecticut’s two ex-mayors still serving time for their political and/or sexual  crimes of passion..

      Where is John Adams when we needed him?

      Could the timing not be better for HBO’s showing of its seven-part miniseries adapted from the biography of our nation’s second president, who is described as “the brilliant, fiercely independent, often irascible, always honest Yankee patriot”?

      Eliot Spitzer is no John Adams.

      Nor is New Jersey’s ex-governor Jim McGreevey, who according to his ex-aide and chauffeur, knew first-hand that the” luv guv” had a very crowded marital bed.

      As the news junkie that I am, I switched from the television to the Internet as soon as I heard the news that The New York Times had just broken the story on its website of Spitzer allegedly ordering up a hooker and I’m not talking about the prominent Puritan religious and colonial leader, Thomas Hooker, the founder of the colony of Connecticut. I’m talking about a Jersey Girl born Ashley, whose name went from Victoria (how regal a name for the Emperor’s Club) to “Kristen.” The latter name was given by the prostitution ring to add to the allure of a high-class call girl. Reportedly, Kristen  had been homeless when, in fact, the family lived in a stately home and she was living in Manhattan in a high-rise, high-class condo.

      Also, the prostitution service added a few years to her original age of 22, so that it didn’t appear that she was a college student, which turns out to be only four years older than Spitzer’s oldest daughter.

      Despite the lewdness of this salacious story, I was enthralled by the details. I went right to the affidavits that the Times had on its website. I scrolled to read about Client 9, allegedly Spitzer, whose dialogue in arranging for Kristin to take the train to Washington, D.C. for the tryst is stated in such detail, that one of his aides is quoted saying to New York magazine: “Client 9 was clearly Eliot. It was very much him, his personality: the micromanagement of what train she takes! The language! It was just spot-on.”

      Or to quote Lady Macbeth; “Out, damned spot.”

      Too late, for Spitzer.

      But, what’s ahead for suffering Silda, his wife of 20 years, a former corporate lawyer, who put her career on hold to be a full-time mom to three teenage daughters? Our hearts went out to her as we observed the anguish on her face as she stood beside her husband during two brief addresses to the press and public last week. 

      What a contrast of a married couple as I watched John Adams and his wife Abigail as she supported her husband and urged him in his endeavors as this country fought for its independence from England.

      In portraying John Adams, actor Paul Giamatti noted that the love story of Adams and his wife wasn’t that they spent time gazing into each other’s lives but in the same direction as Adams helped lay the foundation for independence.

      In his book, author McCullough quotes Abigail Adams: “…We have too many high sounding words, and too few actions that correspond with them.  
As was noted in the press, Spitzer’s quick downfall and lack of support from those around him came because he had made so many enemies and his alleged indiscretion with a prostitute violates the moral tone he had preached in office.

      Passion Week began this week with the swearing in of a new governor to succeed Spitzer. His name is David Paterson, New York’s Lieutenant Governor. He is the third black governor in this nation’s history and the first in New York. He is also legally blind, the result of an infection as an infant. He has no sight in one eye and limited sight in the other. He is a man known for his wit.

      During his first press conference last week he was asked if he had ever patronized a prostitute. He said he had encountered lobbyists.

      Following his swearing in Monday, Paterson told his fellow legislators and guests at his ceremony that, “I have confronted the prejudice of race, and challenged the issues of my own disability. I have served in government for over two decades. I stand willing and able to lead this state to a brighter future and a better tomorrow.”

      Maybe, Paterson is not the first governor of New York to serve with a disability.


© Copyright 2008 Rita Papazian All rights reserved.