On Spitzer and Weiner, New York lawmakers mum

July 9, 2013

Some of the longest-serving, most quotable members of Congress hail from New York City, but they have so far declined opportunities to opine on Eliot Spitzer's decision to run for New York City comptroller.

Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.). (Marvin Joseph /Post)

"I'm not commenting," is all Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) would say Tuesday morning when asked whether he thought it was wise to have two scandal-plagued Democrats (Spitzer, and mayoral candidate and former Rep. Anthony Weiner) seeking citywide office. Schumer is a lifelong Brooklyn resident.

Another longtime lawmaker, Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.), who hails from Harlem, walked away and said nothing when asked who he might support in the race for comptroller.

Spitzer, whose high-flying career as New York's scrappy attorney general ended in when he was caught on a federal wiretap arranging to pay a high-priced prostitution service, rocked the Big Apple political establishment Sunday by announcing plans to try and return to elective office.

Weiner, who resigned from Congress two years ago after admitting he sent pictures of himself to several women via Twitter, is running in the Democratic primary for mayor.

Lawmakers declining to comment on controversial politicians back home is nothing new, if recent history is a guide. In April, several South Carolina Republican lawmakers also declined to comment on the prospects of former governor Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) as he sought to return to Congress. Sanford, of course, later won his seat and now serves alongside the same colleagues who wouldn't voice support for his candidacy. (Some of them even laughed when asked about him.)

Will any other Empire State Democrats weigh in on Spitzer? Stay tuned.


Ed O’Keefe is a congressional reporter with The Washington Post and covered the 2008 and 2012 presidential and congressional elections.
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