Editorial | Gov. McGreevey's 'Confession'

He left skeletons in that closet

Sep. 21, 2006

Philadelphia Inquirer - Editorial

The publicity blitz over the sexual awakening of former Democratic Gov. Jim McGreevey glosses over the one thing that mattered most to New Jerseyans: He was a lousy governor.

McGreevey, who resigned in August 2004 with his revelation that he is a "gay American," obviously has found emotional and spiritual peace. Good for Citizen McGreevey.

But his campaign to market his book, The Confession, cannot wash away the bad taste that lingers from McGreevey's failed tenure as governor. He was a lousy governor regardless of the sexual identity crisis he endured behind the scenes. McGreevey led an administration that sank to new lows of ethical behavior, even before it became clear that he had installed a male lover on the state payroll, who now claims he was sexually harassed.

McGreevey told an Oprah audience that he would have walked away from the governor's mansion if he could have lived openly ever after with his lover/harassed employee, Golan Cipel. Depending on whom you believe, McGreevey was either a predatory governor or a confused, lovesick puppy who put himself in a position to be extorted. Either way, let us hope that an elected official with such colossally bad judgment never reaches such an important position of public trust again.

On the Today show yesterday, co-host Matt Lauer asked McGreevey why he shared a hotel room with Cipel during official travel while telling state troopers he was trying to save taxpayers' money. McGreevey replied, "There is no shortage of stupidity in this book."

That sums up his chapter in New Jersey's history.