Gov. Eliot Spitzer, steamroller
February 3, 2007 8:03 PM   Subscribe

"I am a fucking steamroller and I'll roll over you or anybody else."
posted by cerebus19 (87 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Worst of the web?
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 8:14 PM on February 3, 2007


I love, love, love this comment. Good for Spitzer.
posted by facetious at 8:14 PM on February 3, 2007


wow... I'm surprised Reuters printed the quote. I would've expected "expletive deleted".
posted by pruner at 8:15 PM on February 3, 2007


Hey, what a coincidence: 70's sensitive-folkie icon James Taylor was a steamroller, too. But, he was, you know, steamrollin' for love...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:18 PM on February 3, 2007


Spitzer is such a badass. I love him.
posted by brain cloud at 8:19 PM on February 3, 2007


Sounds like someone in a defensive line in a football game taunting the player opposing him. I also imagine the person saying that line to be about 300 lb. Spitzer is a character, but he does seem to get the job done.
posted by bhouston at 8:19 PM on February 3, 2007


I'm the Juggernaut, bitch!
posted by ikkyu2 at 8:20 PM on February 3, 2007 [5 favorites]


He was voted in with 70% of the vote? Good for him; he got more votes than Chavez. Let him enjoy it.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 8:21 PM on February 3, 2007


Good. F*ck Republican Assemblyman James Tedisco.
posted by R. Mutt at 8:22 PM on February 3, 2007


Good for him? Didn't we get all wound up when Cheney made a similar comment?
posted by aladfar at 8:25 PM on February 3, 2007


Sure, but Spitzer is a Democrat. That prevents him from being evil.
posted by b1tr0t at 8:27 PM on February 3, 2007


Good for him? Didn't we get all wound up when Cheney made a similar comment?

Right -- but that was Cheney. Cheney is a force of evil who must be stopped. Spitzer is like the Albus Dumbledore of governors.
posted by brain cloud at 8:27 PM on February 3, 2007


"I am a fucking steamroller and I'll roll over you or anybody else," the Democratic governor told Republican Assemblyman James Tedisco in a private conversation last week, the New York Post reported on Wednesday.

The key words being "Republican Assemblyman," "private conversation," and "New York Post." The impetus for writing that article is pretty obvious.

Not that it matters. Spitzer is one bad mother fucker.
posted by eyeballkid at 8:27 PM on February 3, 2007 [3 favorites]


*of course one means this f*cking metaphorically.
posted by R. Mutt at 8:28 PM on February 3, 2007


Good for him? Didn't we get all wound up when Cheney made a similar comment?

Yes, it's nitpicking, but Cheney's "Go fuck yourself," occured on the floor of the US Senate.
posted by eyeballkid at 8:31 PM on February 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


I wait for the day when Spitzer runs for President.
posted by R. Mutt at 8:31 PM on February 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


I've heard his wallet says 'Bad Motherfucker' on it.
posted by dazed_one at 8:35 PM on February 3, 2007


I've heard his wallet says 'Bad Motherfucker' on it.

I met Quentin Tarantino at a NYC pizza place a few years ago, and I wasn't sure it was him (he was wearing a hat covering his eyes and whatnot) until he whipped out that wallet to pay.
posted by pruner at 8:37 PM on February 3, 2007


Spitzer sounds like an asshole.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 8:38 PM on February 3, 2007


Be that as it may, that quote is disturbingly Mayor Quimbyesque.
posted by Arthur "Two Sheds" Jackson at 8:38 PM on February 3, 2007


Perhaps poor judgment in saying it, but it is true. He's been a steamroller since his youth. Don't get in his way. He's an F*ng boy scout too, so all you dirty pols get to watch his steamrolling squash your graft.
posted by publius at 8:39 PM on February 3, 2007


in a private conversation
James Tedisco gambled and lost on that one.
posted by stbalbach at 8:42 PM on February 3, 2007


He's governor and he swears. *swoon*
posted by Saucy Intruder at 8:43 PM on February 3, 2007


You are not my governor, you are a snort.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:47 PM on February 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


I'm still waiting on the ol political 'wreckin ball'. Like some completely anarchistic libertarian from vermont who's been congratulated for growing salvia and who's children are so bright, they can be seen from space. I'm looking for someone who Vonnegut would vote for. I'm looking for someone Huxley would trip with, someone who would publicly expose George W for the complete fuck he is and have GW thank him for such apt words after the whole thing was done. (and then throw it away like used kleenex) I think I'm looking for the nonchristian American Jesus of the apocaplypse. Someone who would stab Dick on the Senate floor and bow to a standing ovation from all the senators upon taking leave, quoting Julius Caesar. . . 'Et Tu Brutae'.

Tall order I know. For now, God bless the steamroller.
posted by isopraxis at 8:47 PM on February 3, 2007 [7 favorites]


Spitzer didn't tell anyone to fuck himself--he told someone he was a fucking steamroller--there's a gigantic difference.

He rocks! By this spring he will have done far more than Pataki did ever.
posted by amberglow at 8:48 PM on February 3, 2007


Didn't we get all wound up when Cheney made a similar comment?

Wait, you think maybe the response to the Cheney comment was based more on Cheney saying it than the actual "fuck"? No fucking way.
posted by smackfu at 8:51 PM on February 3, 2007


Didn't we get all wound up when Cheney made a similar comment?

Regarding the difference between "Go fuck yourself" (directed at someone else, and on the Senate floor, no less) and "I'm a fucking steamroller" (describing oneself, and in an obviously humorous way), I'd agree with amberglow: there's a BIG difference.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:02 PM on February 3, 2007


I can't wait for the musical. Will this line be sung falsetto or tenor?
posted by fenriq at 9:04 PM on February 3, 2007


I like this Spitzer kid, He's got moxie.
posted by Divine_Wino at 9:08 PM on February 3, 2007


Yeah, so the right wing should have no problem with what Spitzer said. Since I imagine that it made him feel better, right?
posted by Talanvor at 9:20 PM on February 3, 2007


Spitzer doesn't care what the rightwing or their willing media stooges say--he's not a DC Dem.
posted by amberglow at 9:23 PM on February 3, 2007


Tedisco told reporters in the state capital of Albany that "we had a bit of steamy conversation" but he would not reveal details.

"He's a guy who likes to play it tough sometimes, and I don't mind that," Tedisco said. "And I've heard the F-word before."
Ahem. Is he trying to put a...different spin on it?

I kid, I kid, Spitzer rocks.
posted by casarkos at 9:30 PM on February 3, 2007


I think this is at least the third time I post this in a comment to Metafilter, but this is one of my favorite moments in political tv history. The Pierre Trudeau Fuddle Duddle Incident.

Pierre Trudeau was The Man!

Come to think of it, they're a little bit similar looking.
posted by Kattullus at 9:31 PM on February 3, 2007


More politicians saying "fuck," please.
posted by mediareport at 9:38 PM on February 3, 2007


Good for Spitzer, and good on NY state voters for demonstrating intelligence and courage in voting for him.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:38 PM on February 3, 2007


Yeah I gotta go with the emphases on the private conversation aspect of this quote. I'm not a New Yorker and tend to not identify with a party, though more D than R. but seriously Tedisco comes off as whiny if he ran to the press with this.
There is a difference between taking a dump in privet then having some say you took a dump, and taking a dump in public for everyone to see.
posted by edgeways at 9:41 PM on February 3, 2007


Also, the name Spitzer is cool because it reminds me of Mark Spitz, the Olympic swimming star. And spitting.

Our Governator just rehashes pathetic movie lines.
posted by fenriq at 9:43 PM on February 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


The Dems could use some piss and vinegar. After the last 7 years, they've earned a right to it.
posted by maryh at 9:43 PM on February 3, 2007


The Dems could use some piss and vinegar. After the last 7 years, they've earned a right to it.

Amen to that, maryh!
posted by retronic at 9:49 PM on February 3, 2007


It doesn't bother me that a governor would say 'fuck' in a private conversation. I know some people who have said 'fuck.'

However, not all occasions are appropriate for dropping the f-bomb. The floor of the Senate, for instance, is not a place to tell people to fuck off.

Spitzer's statement is true, is it not? He did lots of stuff as AG, did he ever have to back down?
posted by ibmcginty at 9:51 PM on February 3, 2007


I look forward to more posts about quotes by U.S. state governors. Perhaps then we could move on to quotes from U.S. state lieutenant governors.
posted by spock at 9:51 PM on February 3, 2007


a great thing about Spitzer is that you could actually see him saying the same thing to a Democrat (think Alan Hevesi).
posted by pruner at 9:55 PM on February 3, 2007


I have no idea who this asshole is but hell yeah, finally some politician speaking his mind...so fuck yeah!
posted by evilelvis at 10:00 PM on February 3, 2007


Also, the name Spitzer is cool because it reminds me of Mark Spitz, the Olympic swimming star. And spitting.

The name Elliot reminds me of Elliot Ness, the G-Man who busted Al Capone. And ET.
posted by pruner at 10:17 PM on February 3, 2007


It would have even been better if he had punched some republican piece of shit in the throat, but this is a start.
posted by 2sheets at 10:25 PM on February 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


I didn't have a problem with Cheney telling someone to go fuck themselves, I thought it was funny and showed how Crass and touchy the guy is. But Spitzer calling himself the fucking steamroller? That's just hilarious. It's just some trash talking, and it's impossible to know if he was joking or what the context was.

I don't have a problem with people using dirty language in the Senate if they want to, they've done plenty to "defile" the chamber in there over the last six years.
posted by delmoi at 10:28 PM on February 3, 2007


It would have even been better if he had punched some republican piece of shit in the throat, but this is a start.

That will be Bruno, if the State Senate does no-business-as-usual.
posted by amberglow at 10:45 PM on February 3, 2007


Spitzer did a great deal of good as the Attorney General of New York. He took on numerous tough cases that nobody else would touch, including complex financial frauds, and nailed those bastards to the wall.

More steamrolling, please. There's a lot of flattening to be done.
posted by Malor at 11:14 PM on February 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


This is one children's book I doubt will pass the Texas Review Board.
posted by rob511 at 11:42 PM on February 3, 2007


This is less than charming behavior, whether it's Dick Cheney or someone whose politics are otherwise slightly more palatable to denizens of the blue. Steamrollering may be called for at times, but I'm sad to see this kind of talk applauded, private conversation or not.
posted by pax digita at 12:11 AM on February 4, 2007


I can't wait for the musical. Will this line be sung falsetto or tenor?

Both.
posted by goetter at 12:47 AM on February 4, 2007


Yes, how dare we approve of the way the Governor of New York speaks in private?
posted by jtron at 12:55 AM on February 4, 2007 [2 favorites]


I'm surprised Reuters printed the quote. I would've expected "expletive deleted".

Reuters is a European news agency and is therefore not required to sanitize their stories to a first-grade level before sending them out.


You are not my governor, you are a snort.

I see someone else has toddlers around.
posted by TedW at 3:14 AM on February 4, 2007


He is a fucking steamroller. Just ask Merrill Lynch, SONY, or any other corporation he has taken on and beaten. And Cheney told a colleague to "go fuck himself" on the floor of the US Senate. That's a big difference.

Bitch all you want, Republicans. The tables have fucking turned and how does your own medicine taste?

(It also helps to know that Tedisco's NY GOP is so terminally corrupt and incompetent that it needs to be talked to like this. And then steamrolled. Go, Eliot, go. )
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:18 AM on February 4, 2007


I would have said that Spitzer is a motherfucking steamroller, but what he said is still technically correct.
posted by psmealey at 5:29 AM on February 4, 2007


Bitch all you want, Republicans. The tables have fucking turned and how does your own medicine taste?


The cycle continues, as no one learns from the past.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:06 AM on February 4, 2007


The "steamroller" comment doesn't strike me as that big a deal -- politicians will be politicians, and he's trying to mark his territory just like any big cat. Everyone whips out their dick to see whose is biggest.

On the other hand, this: "I've done more in three weeks than any governor has done in the history of the state" suggests a level of hubris and idiocy that is extreme even for a politician. In the words of Mario Cuomo (a truly great governor and statesman, in the best sense of the word -- one that Spitzer will never achieve): "Most of those things take longer. At that rate we should be in heaven in four weeks, but he (Spitzer) might not get in for lack of modesty"
posted by pardonyou? at 6:32 AM on February 4, 2007


The cycle continues, as no one learns from the past.

Au contraire, Brandon Blatcher. What we on the left have "learned from the past" is that if you don't stand up and fight, hard, against corruption, slander, lies, distortion, and all the rest of the evil perpetrated by the right in this country, you will be "steamrolled," swiftboated, and told to go fuck yourself while they steal elections, buy influence, bug our phones, and lock up Americans without due process.

"Turn the other cheek" doesn't work. Ask any Christian, since they seem to have given up on that one a while ago.

It's a war. Get used to it.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:38 AM on February 4, 2007


The cycle continues, as no one learns from the past.

Must be new to critical thought.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:08 AM on February 4, 2007


Good for him? Didn't we get all wound up when Cheney made a similar comment?
posted by aladfar at 11:25 PM EST on February 3 [+]

[!]



Sure, but Spitzer is a Democrat. That prevents him from being evil.


Uh, what giant corp. is Spitzer a front for again..? It must have slipped my mind....
posted by wfc123 at 7:22 AM on February 4, 2007


One might need to be a New Yorker to fully appreciate this story.

Part of the subtext is that the Governor is a frighteningly bright and talented human being; and the Minority Leader is frighteningly stupid even by the standards of a state legislature (which is saying a mouthful).

It's a satisfying as seeing the class genius publicly humiliate the school's dumbest jock. For once.
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 8:12 AM on February 4, 2007


> Spitzer sounds like an asshole.

I agree with this comment. He also sounds insufferably egomaniacal. Hubris is awesome!!
posted by eunoia at 8:41 AM on February 4, 2007


In a few years, Spitzer will be the TR we need to end the current Gilded Age, and "fucking steamroller" will be his "big stick."
posted by breezeway at 9:01 AM on February 4, 2007


Inside Eliot's Army:

(H)e received a warning from a Merrill lawyer: “Be careful, we have powerful friends.” [...]

Spitzer's reply: "You think you can intimidate me? Screw you. Choose your weapon."
posted by edverb at 9:21 AM on February 4, 2007 [3 favorites]


"This is less than charming behavior, whether it's Dick Cheney or someone whose politics are otherwise slightly more palatable to denizens of the blue. Steamrollering may be called for at times, but I'm sad to see this kind of talk applauded, private conversation or not."

Some assholes take no other kind of talk seriously at all. If this guy knows how to put on his own asshole hat and cross them, hooray!

I hope he also knows how to take it off, though.
posted by Anything at 10:22 AM on February 4, 2007


Wow. As a New Yorker, I didn't realize how awesome Spitzer is.

He's now okay in my book.
posted by champthom at 10:42 AM on February 4, 2007


"This is less than charming behavior"
This isn't a tea party. I don't want to see charm in politics, I want to see results, I want to see blood. Protect the innocent, punish the guilty and quit trying to be nice about it.
posted by 2sheets at 11:21 AM on February 4, 2007


Spitzer saw immense opportunity in the mutual fund scandals, Merrill Lynch's role in dot-com thievery, and the paralyzed, feckless SEC under Harvey Pitt vs. W. And he ran with it. Back then he was a steamroller.
But what's this? Spitzer teams up whore-of-Babylon consultancy McKinsey to foretell of New York losing its prime spot in investment banking due to government regulation, specifically part 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002...the first really meaningful legislation to protect investors from fraud by requiring proof of internal financial controls. He wants now to roll it back.
Eliot Spitzer will 'reform' what suits him personally, and ultimately kneels at the altar of money, as so many politicians feel they must.
posted by nj_subgenius at 11:30 AM on February 4, 2007


Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002...the first really meaningful legislation to protect investors from fraud by requiring proof of internal financial controls. He wants now to roll it back.

Just because it is the first, doesn't mean it is any good.
posted by b1tr0t at 11:54 AM on February 4, 2007


Just because it is the first, doesn't mean it is any good.
A lame riposte that doesn't change the fact that Spitzer is a politician first, which was my point. As for the legislation...well, you're entitled to your opinion if you can actually articulate one.
posted by nj_subgenius at 12:15 PM on February 4, 2007


I can be critical of the democrats, or leftists in general, and have no problem calling a spade a spade, but as has been said upthread this is NOT the same as the Cheney thing in any way besides the fact that the same word happened to be used:

Regarding the difference between "Go fuck yourself" (directed at someone else, and on the Senate floor, no less) and "I'm a fucking steamroller" (describing oneself, and in an obviously humorous way), I'd agree with amberglow: there's a BIG difference.

And if you can't handle Spitzer and want to make a big deal about this because you don't have something real to call him out on, then go fuck yourself.
posted by snofoam at 12:38 PM on February 4, 2007


nj, have you ever had to deal with internal SOX compliance rules?

They're braindead. Perhaps he's being realistic in this case.

I'm quite cynical about politicians' motives, but at this point I'm even more cynical about the efficacy of SOX regulations.
posted by flaterik at 12:44 PM on February 4, 2007


Sarbanes and Oxley may have had their hearts in the right place, but SOX is a monstrosity for implementors. It makes life difficult for companies doing the right thing, but probably doesn't do much to stop bad corps. On the other hand it's created whole new industries which do nothing but help companies get SOX compliance.

It's just like gun laws, politicians feel good about themselves if they pass laws "against" some evil without thinking about how their laws actually effect the world. What's needed isn't SOX, but the real possibility of corporate crooks going to jail for their shenanigans. The Enron trials did a hell of a lot more to stop corporate malfeasance then SOX, I would imagine.
posted by delmoi at 1:29 PM on February 4, 2007


And if you can't handle Spitzer and want to make a big deal about this because you don't have something real to call him out on, then go fuck yourself.

Well at least a certain part of the "big deal" seems to be coming from the people cheering for it. Which, in all seriousness, is perfectly fine. Though, I have to say it kind of strikes me as a bit "schoolyard fight"-ish.
posted by Land Stander at 2:04 PM on February 4, 2007


also, there's a jobs component--NY is losing financial firms to London and the sector is a large employer and large revenue generator for the state, and one of the governor's responsibilities is to keep and grow jobs here in-state.

New York leaders warn of Wall Street decline--... Taking pre-emptive steps to address concerns about regulation and litigation might halt the country's loss of market share and add $15 billion to $30 billion in revenue in 2011 alone, the study says. It would also allow for the creation of 30,000 to 60,000 jobs in the securities sector.... In 2005, American investment banking and sales and trading revenue totaled $109 billion ... The pace of job creation in London far outstripped that of New York City, the report says. From 2002 to 2005, London's financial services work force grew 4.3 percent to 318,000, while New York City's shrank 0.7 percent, or 2,000, to 328,400 jobs. ...
posted by amberglow at 2:10 PM on February 4, 2007


flaterik, yes I have, and I hated the process of putting over six hundred 404 controls in place - particularly the ignorant bitching I got from IT people. But it was worth it. Many so-called experts misunderstand two key concepts in implementing internal controls - risk and materiality. SOX has for many companies served as a permanent employment program for internal auditors (much like the overhyed y2k craze), and that's unfortunate, because they don't interepret the law well, and their guidance from external auditors has been overly extreme.
posted by nj_subgenius at 2:50 PM on February 4, 2007


And 404's efficacy has yet to be really tested...but if nothing else, it gives a crooked public company more to hang itself with, and is a very good attempt at short-circuiting the calumny among corporations their once-complaisant external auditors, and boards of directors who once could plead ignorance. Unfortunately consultants like McKinsey can do whatever the fuck they want.
posted by nj_subgenius at 2:56 PM on February 4, 2007


...but this was about Spitzer, get back on topic.
posted by nj_subgenius at 2:58 PM on February 4, 2007


Maybe you can find a good pile of links about Sarbanes Oxley and then FPP it so we can argue there?
posted by b1tr0t at 3:38 PM on February 4, 2007


b1tr0t, that's not good form is it? Rhetorical question :-P
But I'm sure your family is proud of you.
posted by nj_subgenius at 4:28 PM on February 4, 2007


I guess I'm just ignorantly bitching about useless red tape.
posted by flaterik at 5:36 PM on February 4, 2007


Didn't we get all wound up when Cheney made a similar comment?

Actually what I got wound up about was the fact that Leahy didn't wind up and coldcock that criminal scumbag when he said it. Oh what a tideturner that would have been huh?
posted by any major dude at 6:43 PM on February 4, 2007


Thing is, attorneys talk like that all the time when engaged in that kind of negotiation. It comes with the territory. Then they go have lunch and ask how the corned beef is today.

And seriously, do you really want an AG who's going to roll over when some high-rent shyster from Merrill-Lynch says "we have powerful friends"? Do you really think that would be a good way to win respect against that kind of tactic?

That said, Eliot's got a squeaky-clean rep right now with the NY public. This could do some damage. But he's got years to rebuild to a more accurate image, and even with the tough talk his career demonstrates a lot more willingness to negotiate (i.e., get shit done) than George Pataki ever showed.

It remains to be seen whether he'll be a good governor. But he's definitely an improvement.
posted by lodurr at 6:50 AM on February 5, 2007


For me, the key difference from the Cheney episode is that Cheney lost his cool. He wasn't negotiating, he was just in a social situation. It was contrary to the norms of the social environment, and he knew it, and Leahy knew it.

That's why, according to all the detailed accounts I've ever heard, Leahy had to clench his jaw to keep from bursting out laughing. He knew Cheney had just knocked a shot right into his own goal.

Different games. My guess is that Spitzer will be able to figure out the norms required for the NY Gov's office. He seems to be playing it reasonably well so far. There are some really prickly personalities to deal with, not least being Shelly Silver -- Joe Bruno (the Republican Senate leader) had his own issues, but historically he's shown more willingness to negotiate. I think Spitzer will look to reward that; right now, strangely enough, he's going to have an easier time dealing with the opposition than he will with his own party, and that's mostly because of Silver's Assembly machine.
posted by lodurr at 6:56 AM on February 5, 2007


Hm lodurr, thanks
posted by nj_subgenius at 11:43 AM on February 10, 2007


Recent events lead me to believe I might have spoken too soon. Viz the recent pissing match between Spitzer and the Assembly (i.e., with Silver, who owns the Assembly).

Not an auspicious start. Hopefully he can adjust his tactics. But Silver is signalling that he's completely uninterested in doing the budget on time or in honoring any of Spitzer's budgetary requests. He wants to show the Governor who's boss. Spitzer so far seems intent on playing the "glorious reformer" card, and I'm just not sure New Yorkers care enough to make that a viable platform from which to joust at the owner of the Assembly.
posted by lodurr at 6:03 AM on February 12, 2007


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