Silda Wall Spitzer has been criticized for standing next to her husband, New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, as he publicly apologized for “acting in a way that violates my obligations to my family.” Those actions were soon known to be his long-term patronage of a prostitution ring. I wonder what Silda was thinking as Spitzer delivered his statement.
I watched the March 10th video. Silda, with downcast eyes and a pained expression, stands tight behind her husband’s right shoulder. She is obviously in distress. Yet, it looks like she’s leaning into Spitzer, as if she’s trying to physically reassure him, provide him support.
Silda’s support is nothing new in the Spitzer’s 20-year marriage. A Harvard law school grad, she gave up her successful law career to take care of their three children. She devoted herself to Spitzer’s gubernatorial campaign. In a recent interview she was quoted as saying,
“Eliot and I both grew up with parents who worked together as a strong team. That's the only way I know how to go about it, to be as supportive as I can be for him. He, in turn, is as supportive as he can be with my interests and endeavors."
Well. I wouldn’t characterize Spitzer’s 10-year history of dalliances with high-class hookers as being “supportive.”
Perhaps Silda thinks so too. Because two days later, when Eliot Spitzer announced his resignation, things looked a little different on the podium. Silda again stood at her husband’s side, but there was no contact. The space between them was noticeable. Silda’s eyes were not downcast – she looked at Spitzer as he spoke and glanced directly out to the audience.
If I were Silda, I’d be thinking this: “How do I minimize the impact of this scandal on my three girls and maximize the amount of my divorce settlement?” So I’d stand strong, try to maintain my dignity, and do what I could to make sure my husband remained financially solvent. Then a few months down the road, I’d hire the best divorce attorney in the state of New York and sue the bastard.
To hell with taking one for the team.