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Eliot Spitzer's Comeback

Forced out of office by a prostitution scandal, ex-N.Y. governor is back.

ByABC News
December 17, 2008, 7:20 PM

Dec. 18, 2008— -- Nine months after his public humiliation as "Client 9," Eliot Spitzer is back -- and wants to be taken seriously.

Spitzer, who resigned as New York governor in the wake of a prostitution scandal in March, is making a prompt return to public life in an unusual manner.

He's weighing in with op-eds on the financial crisis and the auto bailout, popping up on the Manhattan cocktail party circuit, and making plans to participate in public events, including a debate on the Wall Street mess scheduled for New York City in March.

And Spitzer this month began writing a regular public policy column for Slate.com, where he takes nuanced, detail-heavy positions on topics, such as the auto bailout and the future of the financial sector.

It marks a swifter resumption of public life than many would have expected in the wake of Spitzer's abrupt fall from grace.

"He's been completely adrift. The only thing he knows is to get back in," said Hank Sheinkopf, a veteran New York communications consultant who has had Spitzer as a client.

"He's certainly an outcast. So, now he has to figure out how to in-cast him," Sheinkopf said. "He hopes to somehow come back as a different person."

Spitzer, 49, has not commented publicly on his decision to reinsert himself in the public sphere and declined to comment Wednesday when contacted by ABC News.

But the former governor appears to have a sense of humor about what he's been through.

At Slate's holiday party in Manhattan this week -- held at a former strip club called "Happy Endings" -- a reporter caught up with him and asked how he was enjoying life as a columnist.

"It sucks," Spitzer said with a grin, according to the Financial Times. "I used to be governor of New York."

Spitzer's friends and associates say they're not surprised by his decision to reinsert himself in public policy debates.

Cliff Sloan, a friend since law school, said Spitzer has always been eager to contribute ideas on big public questions. His re-emergence is motivated by a desire to be part of the process, he said.