Public apology, the ritual of repentance
First, we watch the news conference. There's Spitzer, with his wife by his side. He says, "I want to briefly address a private matter." Then he expresses remorse (albeit vaguely) and promises to "dedicate some time to regain the trust of my family."
Then, we call Mark Geragos, the high-profile criminal defense attorney, who -- as it happens -- has not actually seen the news conference. He proceeds to describe the news conference that he has not seen.
"You've got to have the dutiful wife and you have to have the 'it's a private matter,' " Geragos says. "And remorse for the past and plans for the future."
"If you've seen one, you've seen 'em all," Geragos says.
How strange that so many of us watch when we already know what will happen. And as we watch, random thoughts emerge: Did Silda Spitzer know when she got dressed this morning what she was dressing for? And did he change his tie from blue to a bold red, knowing that this image of him would be indelible? How do you dress for a scandal?
And what about that last line?
"I will report back to you in short order," Spitzer said at the end of the news conference, like he was closing a business deal and just needed to check some numbers, like he was completely in control of the situation.
Comment: Image above is of Dina Matos McGreevey & former NJ Gov. James E. McGreevey. Below: Silda Spitzer
Comment: Spitzer and McGreevey have common tastes in ties! See also Newsweek: The Wronged Wives Club