Sunday, March 30, 2008

Magic Man

When I was much younger, The Wizard of Oz was my favorite movie. I just loved imagining myself being there with Dorothy and being part of that great adventure she had.
Surrender Already, Dorothy
Published: March 30, 2008

Every now and then Maureen Dowd likes to throw in a little Third Year French just to keep us on our toes. Todays lesson en Francois is:
Pas si vite, mon vieux.
Which roughly translates as “Not so fast, old man.” It was said in response to this:
Bernard Kouchner, the foreign minister of France and a strong supporter of the United States, recently observed that President Bush has done such a number on our image in the world that no one will be able to restore the luster.

“I think the magic is over,” he said.
Maureen thinks there is someone with some fairy dust that can save us:
It’s all about the magic, really.

And whether we can take a flier on this skinny guy with the strange name and braided ancestry to help us get it back.
There is a type of stock character in the movies that Spike Lee calls the "super-duper magical negro.” This is the wise, noble African American that tells the hero where he has gone wrong and what he needs to do to get right with the universe. Think Sydney Poitier in The Defiant Ones. Think Will Smith in The Legend of Bagger Vance. Think Morgan Freeman in about anything. In the 2008 Democratic primary it is Barack Obama.

Of course, there is good magic and there are the Dark Arts, the type that Hillary practices:
Many voters decided last week to stick with Obama despite his less-than-convincing explanations about the Rev. Wright — even as many soured on Hillary, casting her as Lady Voldemort.
And the comparison to the Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz just comes too easy when Hillary serves up softballs like this:
Hillary sunnily riposted that she likes long movies. Her favorite as a girl was “The Wizard of Oz,” so surely she spots the “Surrender Dorothy” sign in the sky and the bad portent of the ladies of “The View” burbling to Obama about how sexy he is.
And given Maureen’s poor memory about “Surrender Dorothy” signs, maybe she needs to stay away from Oz references.

But Maureen thinks Obama is the Knight in Shining Armor that will save us from the Clintons reseating themselves on the throne:
Obama, like the preternaturally gifted young heroes in mythical tales, is still learning to channel his force. He can ensorcell when he has to, and he has viral appeal. Who else could alchemize a nuanced 40-minute speech on race into must-see YouTube viewing for 20-year-olds?
And maybe we can get Denzel Washington to play him in the movie version. That would be magical.

Photo Credit: Todays illustration comes courtesy of Iowa Presidential Watch PAC, which posted it December 14, 2007. Clearly it takes more to get rid of Senator Clinton than merely throwing a bucket of water on her.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Big Truth

He’s got to hide the truth.
She'll stop at nothing to find it.
But tonight, Everything's off the record.
-The Big Easy tagline

You can’t handle the truth!
-A Few Good Men

But Big Jule cannot win if he plays with honest dice!
-Guys and Dolls

Hillary or Nobody?
Published: March 26, 2008

Sometimes Maureen Dowd just throws subtlety to the wind and lets us know how she really feels. Let’s go down the list:

She likes watching old movies:
It’s one of my favorite movie formulas, driving the dynamics in such classics as “A Few Good Men,” “The Big Easy” and “Guys and Dolls”: Charming, glib guy spars and quarrels with no-nonsense, driven girl, until they team up in the last reel. He spices up her life, and she stiffens his spine.
This is a very telling episode of Movies With Maureen®. What do these movies have in common? Bad boys that with a secret to hide. Tough talking lugs like Jack Nicholson, Dennis Quaid, and Marlon Brando. It’s a bonus if they treat women wrong.

Hillary Clinton won’t settle for second banana. Again.
It’s hard to imagine that after spending her whole life playing second-fiddle to a superstar pol, Hillary wants to do it again. She’s been vice president.
Maureen has already explore the theory that Barack would be and unfit veep for Hillary. Now she says that there is no way Hillary would settle for a position she de facto already had.

The Clintons only think of themselves.
After all, the Clintons think of themselves as The Democratic Party. When Bill and Dick Morris triangulated during the first term, it was what was best for Bill, not the party. In 1996, when Bill turned the White House into Motel 1600 for fund-raisers, it was more about his re-election than the re-elections of his fellow Democrats in Congress; in 2000, the White House focused its energies more on Hillary’s Senate win than Al Gore’s presidential run.
The Billary Express has always been a duopoly and the focus has never been what is good for the party, but what is good for the Clintons.

If she can’t win the nomination, she will sabotage Obama to give herself a shot in 2012.
Some top Democrats are increasingly worried that the Clintons’ divide-and-conquer strategy is nihilistic: Hillary or no democrat.

(Or, as one Democrat described it to ABC’s Jake Tapper: Hillary is going for “the Tonya Harding option” — if she can’t get the gold, kneecap her rival.)
And we all know how it turned out for Tonya. Nancy Kerrigan became America’s sweetheart until she bad mouthed Mickey Mouse.

That whole wait-until-next-time strategy sounds pretty Machiavellian. It requires the hope that an electorate that rejected you this time around will flock to you four years down the road.

There you have. The Four Horsemen of Maureen Dowd for the past six months. Just mix and match as required until the election. Then she can go on to stopping the next Clinton run.

Monday, March 24, 2008

BlogWatch: Great Minds Dept.

Yours truly wasn't the only one inspired by Dowd's Sunday column to graft Hillary Clinton's face onto a Terminator exoskeleton. Richard Blakely of Gawker Media was also motivated to show off his photoshop skilz which are far better than my lame attempt. Here they are side by side (mine is obviously on the top):

Thanks Maureen for inspiring these Schwarzenegger/Clinton mash-ups.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

She'll Be Back

Haunting Obama’s Dreams
Published: March 23, 2008

Maureen Dowd is still having nightmares about Hillary Clinton’s resurgent campaign even though most pundits don’t see any chance of the Senator from New York catching the Senator from Illinois in either the delegate count or the popular vote. Still Dowd claims that people are worried.

It is a tribute to Hillary Clinton that even though, rationally, political soothsayers think she can no longer win, irrationally, they wonder how she will pull it off.
In her nightmare scenario, an undead Hillary arises like a killing machine to menace the hero:
It’s impossible to imagine The Terminator, as a former aide calls her, giving up. Unless every circuit is out, she’ll regenerate enough to claw her way out of the grave, crawl through the Rezko Memorial Lawn and up Obama’s wall, hurl her torso into the house and brutally haunt his dreams.

“It’s like one of those movies where you think you know the end, but then you watch with your fingers over your eyes,” said one leading Democrat.
This monster movie analogy was used here on the Dowd Report as well as by Dowd’s fellow Obamamaniac Andrew Sullivan. Here is his take:
The Oscars host Jon Stewart compares [the Clintons] to a Terminator: the kind that is splattered into a million tiny droplets of vaporised metal . . . only to pool together spontaneously and charge back at you unfazed.
Of course, comparing Hillary to a ruthless killing machine is not a new concept. This video is one of several on YouTube.

But Dowd saves some of her venom of the other half of the Clinton tag-team. In perhaps the cheapest shot ever leveled at Bill Clinton, Maureen has this to say about his latest campaign spinning:
On Friday in Charlotte, N.C., Bill Clinton, the man who once thanked an R.O.T.C. recruiter “for saving me from the draft” during Vietnam, sounded like Sean Hannity without the finesse.

Conventional wisdom has it that Hillary’s last hope is some sort of power play involving the super delegates that she has courted. This sort of logrolling is supposed to be the Clintons strong point, but Dowd throws a bucket of water on this wicked witch.
After the Hillary camp lost — and trashed — Bill Richardson and was outmaneuvered by the Obama forces on mulligans in Michigan and Florida, Hillary’s hopes dwindled down to the superdelegates.

If Jimmy Carter, Al Gore and Nancy Pelosi are the dealmakers, it won’t take Hercule Poirot to figure out who had knives out for Hillary in this “Murder on the Orient Express.”
Movies With Maureen® Spoiler Alert: In the star-studded Agatha Christie classic, the murder victim was so hated that everyone on the train had a motive for killing him and they did.

Dowd then lists the beefs each of these party bigwigs has with the ham-handed Clintons and comes to this conclusion:
If Hillary’s fate falls into the hands of Jimmy, Al and Nancy, the Clinton chickens may come home to roost.
And that would be a movie as scary as The Birds.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Crashing Into The Bushes

Soft Shoe in Hard Times
Published: March 16, 2008

Maureen Dowd, after four months of nearly exclusive focus on the Clinton campaign, raises her head like a groundhog that has overslept and notices that the economy has gone into the dumper. Not that she claims you would know by listening to George W. Bush:

The dollar’s crumpling, the recession’s thundering, the Dow’s bungee-jumping and the world’s disapproving, yet George Bush has turned into Gene Kelly, tap dancing and singing in a one-man review called “The Most Happy Fella.”
Gene Kelly is the low-hanging fruit in this pop culture parade (the widow Kelly has already protested any insinuation that W could possibly hold a candle to Gene’s footwork), but The Most Happy Fella is the more intriguing call-out. This is an obscure Frank Loesser musical comedy most notable for its operatic musical structure.

The plot about a shlubby guy hitting on a waitress has little to do with the Bush administration, but back in January, Patt Morrison at the Huffington Post called Dick Cheney the “Most Happy Fella”. Who knew so many pundits writing about the Dubya crew were showtune fans?

Whether or not Dowd was inspired by Morrison or not is not for me to figure out, but another passage sounded very familiar. It seems that Maureen reads a lot of Dowd. Take this comment in the Sunday column:
Boy George crashed the family station wagon into the globe and now the global economy.
Boy George was a Rude Name® in Dowd's mind since before 9/11. But W has wrecked the family station wagon before. That car crash metaphor sounds just like the one she used in her December 5, 2007 column (DowdReported here):
When W.’s history is written, he will be seen as the rebellious teenager crashing the family station wagon into his father’s three most cherished spots — diplomacy, intelligence and the Gulf.
And before that on July 11, 2007 in a column called “History As An Alibi”:
Watching the warring tribes in Iraq grow more violent has caused the beginning of a reconciliation among the warring tribes in Washington, as they realize they have to get the car keys away from the careening president who has crashed into the globe.
That’s a whole lot of crashing going on. Mostly of metaphors into each other.

Wait, Wait, It's MoDo

Maureen Dowd will be the guest on this week's edition of National Public Radio's quiz show Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! (h/t to FishbowlDC).

Of course we will have full links and highlights later in the week.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Saint Obama In Shades Of Gray

Photoimage modified under Creative Commons license
from official campaign Flickr site.
All original restrictions apply.

Black, White & Gray
Published: March 19, 2008

In the closest thing to an endorsement yet, Maureen Dowd has high praise for Barack Obama’s make or break speech on race in America. Coming so soon after Saint Patrick’s Day, Dowd can’t help but filter the speech through a green tinted glass.

She winds up by using some alliteration and a fairly pedestrian resentment Dowdversion® and then leads into the parenthetical revelation that her working class Irish clan harbors racial resentment:
He tried to shine a light on that clannish place where grudges and grievances flourish. After racing from race for a year, he plowed in and took a stab at showing blacks what white resentment felt like and whites what black resentment felt like.

(He was spot-on about my tribe of working-class Irish, the ones who have helped break his winning streak in New Hampshire and Ohio, and may do so in Pennsylvania.)
While she doesn’t single out a quote, she is probably referring to this passage of the speech:
In fact, a similar anger exists within segments of the white community. Most working- and middle-class white Americans don't feel that they have been particularly privileged by their race. Their experience is the immigrant experience - as far as they're concerned, no one's handed them anything, they've built it from scratch. They've worked hard all their lives, many times only to see their jobs shipped overseas or their pension dumped after a lifetime of labor. They are anxious about their futures, and feel their dreams slipping away; in an era of stagnant wages and global competition, opportunity comes to be seen as a zero sum game, in which your dreams come at my expense. So when they are told to bus their children to a school across town; when they hear that an African American is getting an advantage in landing a good job or a spot in a good college because of an injustice that they themselves never committed; when they're told that their fears about crime in urban neighborhoods are somehow prejudiced, resentment builds over time.
Basically, she is saying that some of her closest relatives are racist, but….

While she is being confessional, she owns up to this revelation:
A little disenchantment with Obama could turn out to be a good thing. Too much idealism can blind a leader to reality as surely as too much ideology can.

Gray is a welcome relief from black and white.
And the lady from the Gray Lady is painting a picture of the next president through some pretty thick beer goggles.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Watching The Flying Pigs

There will be no Dowd Report today. Since there was no mention of Hillary Clinton in today's column, I'm too busy ice skating through Hades.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

From Ho's To Hillary

Carry on my wayward son,
For there'll be peace when you are done
Lay your weary head to rest
Now don't you cry no more

Masquerading as a man with a reason
My charade is the event of the season
And if I claim to be a wise man, it surely
means that I don't know

-"Carry On Wayward Son", Kansas

Ways of the Wayward
Published: March 12, 2008

It takes a hooker sex scandal to drag Maureen Dowd’s attention away from the Clinton campaign. Sort of. She whines like I Hate Math Barbie:
The arithmetic of procuring a prostitute who is both experienced and inspirational is even more complicated than the arithmetic of procuring a president who is both experienced and inspirational.
And that doesn’t even count as a Dowdversion®, because the structure is completely parallel. This shell game is much punnier:
…do you really need to shell out $4,300, plus minibar expenses, to a shell company for an hour with a shady lady? Aren’t there cheaper hooker hook-ups on Craigslist? It makes you wonder how sharp Eliot Spitzer’s pencil was on the state’s fiscal disclipline.
As a bonus, we get the pretty lame shell-shady ho-ho double alliteration complete with internal rhyme and the just a little too subtle phallic pencil innuendo. But it goes juicier:
And how does it add up that Steamroller No. 1 suddenly morphs into Client No. 9, a nom d’amour with the ring of an overpriced Gucci cologne for men, giving untold thousands for untold years to a prostitution ring that has hourly rates based on rating its girls on a diamond scale of 1 to 7, with 7 being $3,100, and above 7 in a special club for $5,500 and up?
This is good because Steamroller No. 1 is a callback to this profane quote from Spitzer’s first days in office (as retold on
"I am a fucking steamroller and I'll roll over you or anybody else," the Democratic governor told Republican Assemblyman James Tedisco in a private conversation last week, the New York Post reported on Wednesday.
"Fucking" was the absolutely right adjective there. Freudian slip much Eliot? This story is so hot we get, not one, but three unnamed imaginary “friends” of Maureen to chime in. The first knows her way around an escort service. Ah, those were the days, weren’t they, Mo?
(A friend of mine who knows the ways of the wayward, explained that the flesh-peddlers no doubt had a shell game as well as a shell company: “They say, ‘You can have Jane. She’s $1,000 an hour. Or, you can have Tiffany for $5,000 an hour.’ The client doesn’t know that Jane and Tiffany are the same girl...)
The second is a straw(wo)man letting Dowd drag this out to the gutter and back onto the Clinton campaign.
“I would think the story about our esteemed governor is all the proof we need that we should have a woman as president,” a woman I know said in an e-mail message.
And finally, we get back on the Hillary Hating Highway after our detour to Spitzers truckstop trollop.
Another woman e-mailed the reverse to a friend: “I hope this makes people think back to Monica Lewinsky. Can sex scandals be well timed?”
Gee, what sex scandal does this remind Dowd of? Hmmm…
Hillary could not have been pleased to be in all the TV stand-by-your-man features, or to hear David Letterman’s Spitzer Top Ten list which included, “I thought Bill Clinton legalized this years ago.”
Since sex is covered, Maureen can fan the flames of racial disrespect while getting in a jab at spectacular Democratic crash and burns of the past:
Geraldine Ferraro, who helped Walter Mondale lose 49 states in 1984, was clearly stung at what she considered Obama’s easy rise to celebrity and electoral success. Last Friday, Ms. Ferraro, who is on Hillary’s national finance committee, told The Daily Breeze, a small newspaper in Torrance, Calif.: “If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman of any color, he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept.”

[Ferraro] told The Times on Tuesday night that she was “livid,” adding: “Anytime you say anything to anybody about the Obama campaign, it immediately becomes a racist attack.”
Sorry, I got to take the side of the Obamaniacs in this one. Gerry was one the bringing up race. And it was an attack. Guilty as charged.

And speaking of guilty as in “Off with their heads” we backtrack to this week’s Movies With Maureen®. The underbill is a Shakespearean classic about an ambitious wife that will do anything, including and especially, murder to get the crown and a story about an untouchable law man named Eliot (in Dowd’s version Ness gets taken down by the tax codes, not vice versa):
If blood will have blood, as Shakespeare said in “Macbeth,” power will have sex.

Some people took the saga of Eliot Ness in the boudoir, the old yarn of holier-than-thou caught in flagrante delicto, as a sign that a woman should be president.
But the feature attraction is a costume drama about a powerful woman that has trouble keeping the men in her life in line. Rather than go to any of the recent Cate Blanchett portrayals, Dowd reaches way back to the Errol Flynn classic The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex. “Private lives”, “Essex”, get it?
But in the past, women got tangled up with sex and power. When Bette Davis played Elizabeth I, she was always sending her lovers off to the Tower of London when they made eyes at her pretty ladies-in-waiting. Catherine the Great was hardly known for her restraint. And there were Agrippa and Cleopatra, of course.
And to that pantheon, Dowd adds a future ruler tough enough to stand with the men:
Hillary would never have to pretend to be a man to get aides to respect her, proving that she has moved past gender in a way Ferraro never did.
Not only that, you have no fear of sex scandal on Hillary’s watch because:
In modern times, you rarely see any men having to ashenly stand by their women.
We know that Hillary has already stood by her man and now Tammy Wynette gets to be the opening act.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

It's A Trap

You think it's over just because I am dead. It's not over. The games have just begun.

- Jigsaw Saw IV
The Monster Mash
Published: March 9, 2008

In every high school flick ever filmed, from Sixteen Candles to Mean Girls, there is a scene in the cafeteria where the heroine is approached by the preternaturally cute big man on campus only to be humiliated in front of the entire school. Here is Maureen Dowd’s description of that script in her mind.
I was covered in barbecue sauce, somewhere over Texas, when Barack Obama loped down the aisle of the plane to chat with reporters.

I felt guilty, because I had been covering his speeches urging parents to make their kids give up chips and Popeyes. I hadn’t yet come to grips with the notion of giving up Popeyes when Obama — slender, chewing Nicorette and perfectly groomed in his crisp white shirt — came upon me. I was splattered with so much red sauce it could have been a scene from “Saw IV.” Not only on my face and hands but all over the candidate’s picture in the U.S. News & World Report I was reading.
But rather than teen comedies, this week’s Movies With Maureen® focuses on horror films. Much to Dowd’s horror, Hillary Clinton has, like an undead psycho in the last fifteen minutes of a slasher flick, sprung back to life to attack the innocent naïve teenagers once again. This is the part of the movie where the plucky hero has to draw on his hidden reserve of machismo and strike down the zombie killer. Never mind that mojo (as opposed to Cujo, the Big Dog) is an Austin Powers call out, Dowd is telling Barack, once again, to man-up.
After losing Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island and his mojo, and getting whipsawed around by Hillary and his own chuckleheaded coterie of advisers, he will now have to come to grips with something he has always skittered away from: You can’t be elected president unless you prove you’re tough.
Hillary Clinton reminds Maureen Dowd (and the Wall Street Journal editorial page) of another woman leader that terrorized the country with a band of murderous thugs, Ma Barker. And Ma Barker/Clinton has some easy prey in her scope. It’s the Return of Obambi:
Ma Clinton knows where Obambi’s soft spots are; she knows he likes being petted on his pedestal, that he’s unnerved by her, and that he can never fully accept how shameless she is. What could be more shameless than suggesting to Democrats that John McCain would make a better commander in chief than Obama?
And it’s not just Dowd that views Hillary as a relentless immoral monster lurking in the shadows waiting to attack, the Obama campaign does as well. A gaffe is when a politician accidentally tells the truth. Here is former Obama advisor Samantha Power:
Power, a foreign policy adviser to Obama, told The Scotsman [of the BBC] that Hillary was “a monster” and the BBC that Obama’s Iraq withdrawal plan was merely a “best-case scenario.” (She’s now resigned.)

Ma Clinton pounced, telling reporters in Mississippi, “He keeps telling people one thing, while his campaign tells people abroad something else.”
And like any truly scary monster, Hillary has the power to disguise herself, the better to sneak up on unsuspecting voters.
Hillary successfully recast herself in Ohio as a beer-drinking former waitress. Only after last week’s reversals did the Obama camp raise a louder ruckus about her tax returns. Obviously, Ms. Night Shift does not want to reveal the details of the fortune that Bill Clinton has made, sometimes through dubious associations.
Night Shift was Michael Keaton’s mortuary hooker comedy before he went on to be the not-quite-dead-yet Beetlejuice. Both movies seem to be apt metaphors for the still-on-life-support Clinton campaign. But the real nightmare would be Hillary suckering the Candidate of Hope (that's "hope" as in "the desire and search for a future good", not the Arkansas spawning ground of presidential candidates) into being a zombie-fied running mate:
If he thinks Hillary has cut him down to size lately, he’d better imagine what his life would be like as the Clintons’ vice president.
Maureen is like a horror movie fan yelling at the screen as the clueless hero does something stupid. The audience knows the monster isn’t dead yet and is still lying in wait. Dowd is telling Obama to beware of any power sharing overtures Hillary may offer. As the Saw IV tagline says: It’s A Trap.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Shoulder Padding

You cannot ignore history. History has shown that in general it has been the men who have done the rapin’ and the robbin’ and the killin’ and the war mongering for the last 2000 years. It has been the men who have done the pillaging and the beheading and the subjugating of whole races into slavery. It has been the men who have done the law makin and the money makin’ and most of the mischief makin’. So, if the world isn’t quite what you had in mind, you have only yourselves to thank.

Duel of Historical Guilts
Published: March 5, 2008

Maureen Dowd, writing for that rag the New York Times blames credits Hillary Clinton's latest primary victories on women that use pads. Shoulder pads, that is. Dowd goes all Friedman in trying to evoke a movement with a catch phrase:
Some women in their 30s, 40s and early-50s who favor Barack Obama have a phrase to describe what they don’t like about Hillary Clinton: Shoulder-pad feminism.
The age bracket mentioned is an obvious hint at the geriatric nature of Clinton’s core. According to, in the just closed Texas primary, Barack got 58% of the under 25 while Hillary swept two-thirds of 65 and older as well getting 55% of women to Barry taking only 50% of men.

Hillary ran commercials in Texas that blatantly appealed to women voters. Try to find the testosterone in this ad: (Hint: You can't.)

And Clinton also exhumes feminist icon and Bush Dynasty nemesis Ann Richards in all her shoulder padded glory to pass the baton.

Dowd then takes the shoulder pad metaphor to the playing field and suggests that her blatant appeals to the distaff side had an effect:
But Hillary — carried on the padded shoulders of the older women in Texas, Ohio and Rhode Island who loved her “I Will Survive” rallying cry that “I am a little older and I have earned every wrinkle on my face” — has been saved to fight another day.
Dowd has had Hillary singing that Gloria Gaynor disco anthem since she titled a 1998 column "Icon And I Will Survive". It’s the women with wrinkles that Dowd finds troubling in their sisterly solidarity:
Three Hillary volunteers, older women from Boston, approached a New York Times reporter in an Austin, Tex., parking lot on Tuesday to vent that Hillary hasn’t gotten a fair shake from the press. They said that they used to like Obama but now can’t stand him because they think he has been cocky and disrespectful to Hillary.
Dare we say uppity? It’s the race/gender either/or that Dowd has to tiptoe most gently around. She asks rhetorically:
People will have to choose which of America’s sins are greater, and which stain will have to be removed first. Is misogyny worse than racism, or is racism worse than misogyny?
And to keep with the excessive padding theme of the column she asks the same thing again:
Will America’s racial past be expunged or America’s sexist past be expunged?
Dowd then cites some fourth-hand hearsay to get a truly tasteless (and vaguely related to the whole pad theme) pro-Clinton menstrual cycle solidarity quote:
As Ali Gallagher, a white Hillary volunteer in Austin told The Washington Post’s Krissah Williams: “A friend of mine, a black man, said to me, ‘My ancestors came to this country in chains; I’m voting for Barack.’ I told him, ‘Well, my sisters came here in chains and on their periods; I’m voting for Hillary.’ ”
Let’s go to the tape there: Dowd quotes what a white woman told a Washington Post reporter what she told her black friend. My neck is suffering second-hand whiplash from that.

And in order to set up the Obligatory Monica Call Out®, Dowd cites younger voters voting for Barack (bonus :Rude Name® no extra charge):
Watching Bill Clinton greet but not address — the Big Dog has been muzzled — an excited group of students at Texas State University in San Marcos on Tuesday, 19-year-old Allison Krolczyk said she was leaning toward Obama and felt no gender guilt about voting for him. “Not at all,” she said. “I think they’re both pretty amazing.”

The crowd held up their camera phones to capture the former president, in his bright orange tie and orange-brown ostrich cowboy boots.

“We love you, Bill!” yelled one boy. “You did a good job, except for Monica.”
And we all know that Monica favored kneepads instead of shoulder pads for her jobs.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Madame Strangelove

A Wake-Up Call for Hillary
Published: March 2, 2008

The last time we saw Dr. Strangelove on Movies With Maureen®, Dick Cheney was Slim Pickens riding the bomb like a cowboy all the way down to Iran. Now Maureen Dowd has recast the movie with Hillary Clinton in the role of the titular madman.

Channeling her inner Cheney, Hillary Clinton dropped a fear bomb, as Michelle Obama might call it, implying in a new ad that if her opponent is elected, your angelic, innocent, sleeping children could die in a terrorist attack.

Only she has the wise head to go nuclear, should that Strangelovian phone call from a power-mad Putin come into the White House at 3 a.m.

But according to Dowd, Clinton looks less like the leader of the free world than the former anchor of Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update (who hilariously told Hillary to play the bitch card):
Her ad shows how composed she would be at the dread moment when she picks up the phone. Her nuke look is feminine, in a tailored camel-colored jacket and gold necklace, yet serious, in Tina Fey black reading glasses.

But the tone of the commercial is not so much Tina Fey as Faye Dunaway:
It’s rather Mommie Dearest for the first serious female contender to try to give the kiddies nightmares.
But at least Barack has morphed from Obambi into Obambi-No-More. It's not clear whether this long-standing staple (but not original to her) of her roster of rude names is being retired or just shelved until the general election:
Obambi-No-More briskly dismissed Hillary’s attempt to cast him as a global ingénue.
Dowd feels that the Clinton campaign is doomed because fear mongering just won’t work. She says the American electorate is too smart for that:
The president took the country to war on his gut, exploited our fears and played the patriotism card to advance his political agenda.

This time, Americans may prefer cerebral arguments to visceral ones. What a refreshing change reality would be.
Hmmm. New York Times policy prevents columnists from explicitly endorsing candidates, but what could Dowd mean by wanting “a refreshing change”? Could that refer to some particular candidate that also wants change. The bigger change is that if Hillary loses big on Tuesday, Maureen won’t have the Clintons to kick around any more. What will she have to talk about then? Other than movies and fashion choices. Some things will never change.