Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Mrs. Spitzer and the Default Settings of Powerful Pants

I didn’t watch the news conference. I've seen it all before. I didn’t need to see the same scene play out as it has a thousand times. Political scandal, complete with cliché-ridden non-apology and late show wee-wee jokes, while Tammy Wynette provides the cultural soundtrack. Stand by your man while the whole world gawps.

I’m not too interested in the Governor, because I think we all know that power corrupts. Eventually up is down, down is up, and powerful men forget that pants should have a default setting of up around the waist and not down around the ankles.

I’m more intrigued by Mrs. Spitzer. A man she chose to give her life to humiliates her, endangers her health, permanently screws up her kids, and spends thousands of dollars of her family’s money. And she stood right there next to him for the world to see, as I’m sure he and his advisors begged her to.

That’s an interesting question for the governor and his advisors. Did you really have to have her there at the news conference? This woman is clearly in shock, and it’s disgusting of you to take advantage of that and nudge her into that news conference. I doubt she had a chance to think it through, and went of her own free will. And it didn’t do you much good, anyway. I don’t think anyone watches those press conferences and thinks, “His wife still loves him, so he must not be so bad.” I think we all get just a bit angrier from watching the wife endure yet another public slap to the face.

On the other hand, I can’t pretend to know what’s going on in her mind. I’m not her. So I can’t say I would have done things differently or that I’d have been able to just walk away. I think it’s impossible to say, “I sure as hell wouldn’t be up there.” What do we know? Marriage is a very complicated thing, especially when kids and a public career are involved. What do we know about the inner workings of their marriage? Maybe she always knew about the hooker and they’re just staying together until their kids go to college. I doubt it, but it’s possible.

But I do know what I wish had happened. I wish that press conference had played out very differently. I wish she’d looked over, shrugged, and clocked him but good. I wish she’d pantsed him or given him a wedgie. I wish she’d broken in and said, “And the worst part of all? He’s got SUCH a tiny penis.” I wish she’d looked on in disgust and shock, and simply walked away. In that case, her silence would have spoken volumes. Instead, her silence served as endorsement.

What do YOU wish Mrs. Spitzer had done?


Kristen S. said...

I would have never ever in a million years stood next to my husband under such circumstances. I would have thrown him to the wolves in a New York minute.

I can't imagine why she did it. She looked like death warmed over standing there. Maybe she did it to gain empathy or sympathy.....if so, it worked. I feel terrible for her.

Shannon said...

Kristen, I don't think any of us can definitively say what we would or wouldn't do in that situation, because it's so bizarre the mind boggles.

So now it's time for a grody analogy. Imagine you're a Uruguayan soccer player, and your plane crashed in the Andes in the dead of winter. Would you eat dead people? You can't know until you're actually there.

I'm intrigued by your second point. What if she agreed to the press conference, but looked stricken specifically so her husband would look like an even bigger jerk? If so, it's pretty clever.

Mike said...

It would have been funny if she had arranged to have a young attractive man walk up and escort her from the stage, taking him by the arm and smiling or perhaps giggling.

Or maybe she should have served him with divorce papers.

Kristen S. said...

Oh, I'd probably have eaten the dead people.

We recently had a student in dog training class whose last name was Canessa. Turns out Roberto Canessa from the Andes crash is her cousin. I didn't ask her about the details, though. At least I have enough tact for that!

wes285 said...

I made this comment on another blog:

I don’t know if this is what was going through Silda Spitzer’s mind, but if you think about it, standing next to him at the press conference brings less scrutiny than if she had not. The wives in these scandals often fade away with all the attention being focused on the cheating husband, unless of course they choose to make it messy a la Donna Hanover. You don’t hear anything about Wendy Vitter or Suzanne Craig in the news anymore. But, if she doesn’t show up then people start asking questions like “why wasn’t she there?” and so on.

If she wants to get herself and her kids out of the spotlight, I think this is the smart move. Standing next to him doesn’t mean she isn’t going to divorce him.

Also take a gander at this opinion from one of the women who once stood next to her husband:

Shannon said...

Mike, that would be brilliant. Cameras roll, flashbulbs pop...and right then a process server pops up and serves him with papers. Classier than any of the options I laid out, but still awesome.

Kristen, I'd raid the kitchenette for those little salt and pepper packets, pull up an airline-issued spork and dig in. Wait, does anyone know if you eat dead people with a spork?

Wes, I'm trying to think of an instance where the wronged wife did NOT show up for the inevitable press conference, and I'm drawing a blank. In my opinion, showing up brings more scrutiny because people wonder why she'd subject herself to such humiliation. I can see doing it for the kids, presenting a united front...but beyond that I don't get it.

Velvet said...

Wes brings up a good point. Not being there would have resulted in media chasing her to find out why she wasn't there, then divorce rumors start, and they have kids to protect. She wasn't standing there as a wife. She's standing there as a mother.

Shannon said...

Hrm. But I would argue that her presence brought more focus on her and their marriage. And the healthiest thing might have been to pack up the kids and get out of there.

Ibid said...

Q: Miss Spitzer! How do you feel!

A1: In a way I'm relieved. At least when my husband fooled around it was with another woman.

A2: I understand. She was hot. Hell, I would have slept with her.

A3: I'm pissed. Do you know what this does to our budget?

A4: The real question you should be asking is what I did with my husband's lower lip.

A5: This has all been a big misunderstanding. He was buying her for me.

A6: I told him. Time and time again, I told him. DON'T use the BUGGED phone!

Shannon said...

Doug, answer #4 is absolute genius. Thanks for that one. Eliot did kind of look like he was trying to devour his own head, didn't he?