Has Eliot Spitzer Found the Road to Redemption?

10/04/2010 at 12:55 PM EDT

Has Eliot Spitzer Found the Road to Redemption?
Eliot Spitzer
Mike Groll/AP
More than two years after he left office in disgrace when it was revealed he was involved in a prostitution scandal, former New York governor Eliot Spitzer is hoping for a second chance.

"I made a huge unjustifiable, inexcusable error of judgment … for which I've tried to both apologize and atone," Spitzer tells PEOPLE. "Now I would like to move on and participate in some productive way."

Monday night at 8 p.m., Spitzer, 51, a Democrat once considered presidential material, debuts on CNN's Parker Spitzer, which pairs him with Pulitzer Prize-winning conservative columnist Kathleen Parker in an on-camera roundtable discussion.





Asked if he hopes to redeem himself through his new television show, Spitzer pauses, then replies, "The answer is, of course." Still, he says, he continues to kick himself for disappointing his family, friends and supporters – and squandering the governor's office.

"It will never stop," he says. "That I don't think will ever stop. Nor should it."

At the time of the scandal, much was made of his wife Silda Wall Spitzer’s decision to stand by him when he resigned the governorship amid embarrassing revelations of his use of a call-girl service.

Spitzer describes Silda as being "more forgiving than anybody should have been."

New Public Arena

Of his TV platform, he says, "I've spent most of my career, in different positions, trying to do what I thought was right in the public arena. That's what I'm going to try to do in a slightly different setting."

In that regard, his co-host is ready to debate the day's hot topics with him – if he'll let her get a word in edgewise, she says.

"I'm looking for some way to let Eliot know it's time for me to talk, like maybe a crow bar, I don't know," Parker says humorously. "I'm from the South, so it's not natural for me to interrupt. We consider that very bad manners, but I'm learning. I'm becoming ruder by the day."

For more from Eliot Spitzer, pick up the current issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now

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