Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Mean Girls

Seeing Red Over Hillary
Published: January 30, 2008

Life is just like high school. And no one knows that better than the brainy school newspaper editor NYT columnist Maureen Dowd. Like two queen bees and wannabees in the middle school cafeteria, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are playing mind trip power games about who likes who how much. And whenever there is a catfight, Maureen is on hand to take names and tattle to the guidance counselor subscribers.

It’s already famous as The Snub, the moment before the State of the Union when Obama turned away to talk to Claire McCaskill instead of trying to join Teddy Kennedy in shaking hands with Hillary.
Anyways, the whole thing is playing out like Mean Girls or one of those high school dramas on Nickelodeon or the Disney Channel. See, Teddy has a new BFF endorsed Obama and Hill goes over to show that there are no hard feelings but Obama suddenly sees another friend he has to talk to and looks the other way.
It would have been the natural thing for the Illinois senator, only hours after his emotional embrace by the Kennedys and an arena full of deliriously shrieking students, to follow the lead of Uncle Teddy and greet the rebuffed Hillary.
Maureen, like any good tweener reporter that keeps up with the gossip is able to rehash all the bad blood. It started when Obama first decided to run for Student Council United States President:
Last winter, after news broke that he was thinking of running, he winked at her and took her elbow on the Senate floor to say hi, in his customary languid, friendly way, and she coldly brushed him off.
And rather than ask what’s wrong you have to call your other friends and say, “OMG, Hill is acting SO weird.”
It bothered him, and he called a friend to say: You would not believe what just happened with Hillary.
So she starts snubbing him during recess at debates.
Again and again at debates, he looked eager to greet her or be friendly during the evening and she iced him.
And when she accuses him of not liking her, he is so “Of course I like you,” but like, you can tell he really doesn’t mean it.
Knowing that it helped her when Obama seemed to be surly with her during the New Hampshire debate, telling her without looking up from his notes that she was “likable enough” — another instance of Obama not being able to hide his bruised feelings — Hillary went on ABC News last night to insinuate that he was rude Monday.

“Well, I reached my hand out in friendship and unity and my hand is still reaching out,” she said, lapsing back into the dissed-woman mode. “And I look forward to shaking his hand sometime soon.”
But, see, he know that she got the football team captain Bill Clinton to say all sorts of mean things behind his back.
But Obama’s outrage makes him seem a little jejune. He is surely the only person in the country who was surprised when the Clintons teamed up to dissemble and smear when confronted with an impediment to their ambitions.
And now Hill is getting the cheerleaders National Organization of Women to say that he is the one acting like a slut disloyal candidate.
The New York State chapter of NOW issued an absurd statement on Monday calling Teddy Kennedy’s endorsement of Obama “the ultimate betrayal”: “He’s picked the new guy over us.”
If you want to read the tea leaves yourself ABCNews spent a minute and a half on it with John Madden style circles and arrows, or you can just wait to her more gossip in gym class her next column.

And now for our regular features.

Movies With Maureen®:
She was impossible to miss in the sea of dark suits and Supreme Court dark robes. Like Scarlett O’Hara after a public humiliation, Hillary showed up at the gathering wearing a defiant shade of red.
New Rude Name®
As first lady, Alpha Hillary’s abrasive and secretive management of health care doomed it.
Clinton Royalty Metaphor®
Their relations have been frosty and fraught ever since the young Chicago prince challenged Queen Hillary’s royal proclamation that it was her turn to rule.
See you in study hall.


Grace Nearing said...

Jejune?! Not a word to use in an American op/ed piece. Certainly a good, solid American-English adjective would have been a much wiser choice. Then again, it is the NYT, and it is Dowd.

Mo MoDo said...

Dowd searches for just the right word. "Jejune" implies a certain naive inexperience. Equally loaded is her use of "laconic" which is just short of "lazy."