Sunday, October 21, 2007


Cougars, Archers, Snipers
Published: October 21, 2007

Cougars, archers, and snipers are all extremely narrow demographic groups cataloged in Microtrends by Mark Penn, a pollster and Clinton campaign advisor. Dowd denies being any of the three. “Snipers” are teenagers that want to become stealth military marksmen. “Archers” are suburban housewives into exotic niche sports. And nothing breaks my heart more than MoDo abdicating from cougar”-hood. She does confess:

I’m a microtrend.

Hillary’s programmer says so. I’m mentioned in a section of Mark Penn’s new book, “Microtrends,” called “Impressionable Elites.”
She might also fit into Office Romancers, Stained Glass Ceiling Breakers, Sun-Haters, Caffeine Crazies, or Wordy Women.
It could have been worse. At least I wasn’t in the sections on Cougars, French Teetotalers, The Mildly Disordered, Aspiring Snipers or Unisexuals.
The book has about 60 more categories including porn aficionados, inter-racial couples, and moderate terrorists.

Dowd makes the connection between the microtrends and the Clinton campaign:
But Mr. Penn is the one who has conjured a story line designed to make her more likable: the middle-class girl from the middle of the country with Midwest values who wants to govern from the middle. McGovernick? Meshugana!
George McGovern, the failed ultra-liberal presidential candidate, has endorsed Clinton and Rudy Giuliani has tried to paint Hillary as a left-wing McGovernick. That’s meshugana crazy talk! According to Dowd, the battle is for the middle. Hillary is running as a moderate, not as a lefty brick thrower.

That previous paragraph also unleashed a veritable volcano of clever consonance which leads us to the Alliteration Alert:
Why rely on a candidate’s charisma…?
Hillary comes across more as a pile of diligently digested data…
The pollster is so used to dicing data into bite-sized pieces…
...Iraq imbroglio.
took its tempo from his adolescent indulgences…
Within these verbal volleys is an argument that all the political pandering can’t overcome her essential Hillaryness. In the most explicit explanation of the Clinton campaign ever, Dowd says out loud what everybody knows:
Political power was her [Hillary’s] reward for his [Bill Clinton’s] marital infidelity.

When Bill explains why Hillary should be president, his subtext is clear: We owe it to her for all she put up with from me.
And Dowd saves one more syllabic salvo for the fantastic finale:
But if you think that Hillary doesn’t have connubial contingency plans in place, you’re disregarding his DNA — and hers.

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