Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Dowd n' Rich, Joined At The Lip

Both Frank Rich and Maureen Dowd used their valuable Sunday NYT Op-Ed space to either trash or advance Hillary Clinton depending on how you read the tea leaves (and here's my take). Let’s see how the pundits reacted to the tag team of MoRich (or is it FraDo?):

Joseph Palermo of the Huffington Post thinks the Hilary Democratic Coronation is a given, but summarizes the FraDo worries about Gore Syndrome and Clinton Fatigue:

In yesterday's New York Times, both Frank Rich and Maureen Dowd raise good points about what I call the "Hillary toboggan," the nearly universal sense among the commentariat that Ms. Clinton is destined to slide effortlessly downhill to the Democratic presidential nomination. For Rich, Clinton's overly cautious, stage-managed campaign, which "doesn't make gaffes, never goes off-message and never makes news" is reminiscent of Al Gore's languid 2000 effort, and we all know how that turned out. In Dowd's view the nation is already saturated with the Hillary brand name and her sixteen years of public fame could provide an opening for a lesser-known Republican out of sheer fatigue.
That sounds like a pretty concise summary. Others took it to be a little shriller. The Liberal Doomsayer tasks reliable liberals MoRich for trashing a Democrat instead focusing on the evil Republicans:
And no, my objection is not based on the fact that Frank Rich and Maureen Dowd were taking on Democrats as opposed to Republicans.
However, between Rich and fellow pundit Maureen Dowd, I believe the latter wins the nod for most fatuous “reporting.”
doomsy then goes on to completely misinterpret Dowd’s point that Hillary is the more competent of the two frontrunners in the nepotism derby. When Dowd says that Hillary is qualified to be president of Vassar, the response is:
That’s a pretty loathsome insult towards someone who has served in the United States Senate for the last seven years representing New York state.
Uh, I think it was meant as a compliment.

Scott Lemieux of The American Prospect's TAPPED blog sees Dowd being the more misogynist half of the opining couple because she quotes somebody that said mean sexist things about Hillary. Because nobody will hear them if we ignore them.
And, of course, when it comes to crocodile tears about Bush after working assiduously for a year to put him in the White House, even Rich can't hold a candle to his embarrassing colleague Maureen Dowd.
I’m not sure how Dowd or Rich ever helped Bush, but he then makes constructive criticism of the Democratic frontrunner tantamount to disloyalty:
Again, it's pretty clear that [Dowd's] too-little-too-late discovery that Bush is a bad president won't stop her from mounting an airhead assault on the most likely Democratic nominee. It would be nice if the Times could replace Dowd n' Rich with some columnists who actually write about politics.
Dowd n' Rich. Sounds like a country duo. Who has the big hair and who gets to wear the ass-kicking boots?

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