Should We Care That Spitzer Didn't Vote in the 2012 Presidential Elections?


Many are up in arms about Eliot Spitzer running for New York City comptroller because of his unsavory past, and it may be difficult to look past those substantial blunders he made while in political office. Now, people have added one more point to their list of grievances against the former governor. Last election, he did not vote for Barack Obama. GASP!!!

To be clear, Spitzer did support the president. After all, he only wrote an op-ed entitled “Why I Am Voting for Barack Obama” just a few days before the 2012 presidential election. But alas, he was a bit too distracted by a paid anchor position for the Current TV show, a job that he has recently quit, citing that “nobody’s watching.”

Upon reading this new complaint about Spitzer, one may be inclined to roll one’s eyes and call his critics a bit too nit picky. That, at least, was my reaction. If people were  getting upset over him being a traitor to his party by not voting for Obama, that would be silly. But if we must find a problem to complain about here, then the issue in this situation must be that here is a man attempting to run for office when he himself has failed to take part in the electoral process and has made false promises.

Though Spitzer’s frequent use of escort services in the past was a personal issue between him and his spouse, people are still going to use this against him and being that this is politics, he could expect nothing else. Sex scandals aside, though, Spitzer’s failure to vote should not be the cause of strong public disapproval. Most politicians and people have made false promises at least once in their lives or careers and acting like Spitzer’s situation is different than anything else we have witnessed in human behavior makes no sense. 

Admittedly, it was a little strange that he wrote the op-ed only to skip out on voting but he showed public support for the candidate in his party and apparently that was enough for him. Yes, if Spitzer really cared about casting his vote he could have sent in an absentee ballot but it obviously was not a priority and in the grand scheme of things, in the state of New York, his vote was not all that crucial and we all know it. 

It is surprising and slightly disconcerting that a person running for office would not vote but really, this or his sex scandal should not be what people go on when deciding on who to elect for the position of comptroller. Though going on promises made during a campaign may not be the most reliable way to vote, Spitzer was governor and looking at his political past would be the best way to measure his aptitude for the job. Nonetheless, his personal past will hinder his campaign and whether it is fair or not is irrelevant because in the public eye and in the game of politics, mercy is hard to come by.