Why would a politician endanger everything—family, career, and reputation—for naughty, illicit sexual excitement? I know nothing particular about Eliot Spitzer. Sometimes seemingly obvious situations come to reveal complexities: mental illness, substance abuse—people have a way of surprising us. Still, I thought it might be timely to link to a brief essay I wrote in 1998, when Bill Clinton was making us ask the same question. Titled “Why Someone Would Risk It All,” the piece appeared in the February 1, 1998 issue of U. S. News & World Report.