US Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton sidestepped questions on Monday about the sex scandal engulfing Eliot Spitzer, her home state governor and political ally.
"I don't have any comment on that. Obviously I am sending my best wishes and thoughts to the governor and to his family," Clinton said, opening her first campaign swing through Pennsylvania, which holds its presidential primary on April 22.
Spitzer apologized on Monday after he was accused of paying for sex with a call girl. Authorities say he was caught on a federal wiretap arranging a tryst with the woman at a Washington hotel room.
It was a blow to Clinton, who recently intensified her criticism of rival Barack Obama's relationship with Antoin Rezko, a political patron on trial in federal court in Obama's hometown of Chicago for alleged fraud and corruption.
While not personally close, Clinton and Spitzer have been friendly colleagues ever since the former first lady first ran for a US Senate in New York in 2000.
Her aides said Clinton deeply respected Spitzer's work during his two terms as state attorney general, during which he became a national crusader against corporate corruption and Wall Street investment excesses.
Spitzer faced pressure to resign yesterday as well as questions about whether he would be prosecuted.
A New York Times report said he hired a US$1,000-an-hour prostitute and was caught on a wiretap at least six times on Feb. 12 and Feb. 13 arranging to meet her.
Spitzer, a married 48-year-old who investigated prostitution as attorney general, apologized for what he described as a "private matter," but said nothing about resigning.
He neither confirmed nor denied the report.
Spitzer was slow to endorse Clinton's White House bid and has not been among her more forceful surrogates. But he is one of her all-important superdelegates, elected officials and party leaders who could play a decisive role in determining who becomes the presidential nominee.
If Spitzer resigns, he would not be replaced as a superdelegate, meaning Clinton would lose one, according to the Democratic National Committee. Lieutenant Governor David Paterson would become governor and he is already a superdelegate supporting Clinton.
Clinton declined to say whether she believed Spitzer could survive the scandal.
The New York Times said in an editorial that Spitzer's insistence it was a "private matter" displayed arrogance.
"He did not just betray his family in a private matter. He betrayed the public and it is hard to see how he will recover from this mess and go on to lead the reformist agenda on which he was elected to office," the paper said.
News of the scandal rocked Wall Street, where brokers resented Spitzer's high-profile inquiries into financial cases when he was the state's chief prosecutor.
The Wall Street Journal said Spitzer had shown his lack of restraint in overly aggressive tactics as attorney general, making "extraordinary threats" to entire firms and to those who criticized his pursuit of high-profile Wall Street figures.
"The stupendously deluded belief that the sitting Governor of New York could purchase the services of prostitutes was merely the last act of a man unable to admit either the existence of, or need for, limits," the Journal wrote in an editorial about what it said was almost a Shakespearean fall.
"Governor Spitzer, who made his career by specializing in not just the prosecution, but the ruin, of other men, is himself almost certainly ruined," the paper said.
Indirectly, Spitzer caused Clinton a significant political headache late last year when he proposed a plan to provide illegal immigrants with drivers' licenses.
During a debate, Clinton tripped over a question about whether she supported the proposal, prompting criticism that she was being evasive.
Japan’s Mount Aso erupted yesterday, spewing a giant column of ash thousands of meters into the sky as hikers rushed away from the popular tourist spot. No injuries were immediately reported after the late-morning eruption in southwest Japan, which sent rocks flying in a dramatic blast captured by nearby CCTV cameras. People were warned not to approach the volcano as it ejected hot gas and ash as high as 3,500m, and sent stones tumbling down its grassy slopes. Authorities were checking if any hikers had been trapped or injured, officials told local media, as TV footage showed dozens of vehicles and tour buses
‘AVOIDABLE SITUATION’: After being tortured in his home country, a Sri Lankan and his family are at risk of deportation from the UK, despite his academic fellowship A scientist conducting groundbreaking research into renewable energy is facing deportation with his family to Sri Lanka, where he was tortured, after receiving contradictory information about his case from the British Home Office. Nadarajah Muhunthan, 47, his wife, Sharmila, 42, and their three children, aged 13, nine and five, went to the UK in 2018 after Muhunthan, who is working on thin-film photovoltaic devices used to generate solar power, was given a prestigious Commonwealth Rutherford fellowship. The award allowed him to reside to the UK for two years to research and develop the technology. His wife obtained a job caring for
DEMAND-DRIVEN: The report, produced by Greenpeace and TheTreeMap, said law enforcement has allowed palm oil plantations on UNESCO sites, parks and tiger habitats Almost one-fifth of the land used for Indonesian palm oil plantations is located in the country’s forest conservation areas, despite a law banning such activity, a study by Greenpeace has found. The report, produced by Greenpeace and TheTreeMap, describes a catastrophic failure of law enforcement that has permitted swathes of land — including UNESCO sites, national parks and areas mapped as habitats for orangutans and Sumatran tigers — to be cultivated as palm oil plantations. Indonesia is the world’s biggest producer of palm oil, which is used in many everyday products and foods, from shampoo and lipstick to chocolate and frozen pizzas. However,
PROMPTING MOCKERY : A cryptic announcement of the pianist’s detention by Beijing police was followed by CCTV commenting on the ‘social morality’ of celebrities Concert pianist Li Yundi (李雲迪), one of China’s most famous musicians, has been detained in Beijing over prostitution allegations, state media said on Thursday, prompting some incredulity and a lot of mockery on Chinese social media. Reuters was unable to immediately reach Li or a representative for comment. Police in the Chinese capital’s Chaoyang District said they had detained a 39-year-old man surnamed Li, along with a 29-year-old female surnamed Chen, after receiving reports from the public of prostitution in a neighborhood they did not identify. Both people confessed to the illegal activity, the police said in a statement on a microblogging platform. The