Two Against The One
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: August 19, 2008
We haven’t had a good fictional conservation from Maureen since the end of May when Barrack was vetting Bill. Today, Dowd’s tortured paranoid imagination takes us to a secret Senate causcusing closet where McCain and Hillary are prematurely celebrating the defeat of Obama.
They grin at each other as they lift their celebratory shots of brutally cold Stolichnaya.Vodka being a long-standing Dowd shorthand for the chumminess between the two senators. Here at Dowd Report we dissected the Dowd obsession with drinking here, but the original appearance of the Estonain shot contest was back in October of 2006.
Dowd then notes that McCain’s current campaign echoes the themes that were field tested against Obama in the primaries:
“Oh, John, you know I love you and I’m happy to help,” Hillary says. “The themes you took from me are working great — painting Obama as an elitist and out-of-touch celebrity, when we’re rich celebrities, too. Turning his big rallies and pretty words into character flaws, charging him with playing the race card — that one always cracks me up. And accusing the media, especially NBC, of playing favorites. It’s easy to get the stupid press to navel-gaze; they’re so insecure.”The article in The Atlantic that detailed strategies the Clinton campaign considered but rejected as being against the pale might as well have been placed on the RNC doorstep wrapped in a bow. It’s no coincidence that these came out in a way that made Hillary look high-minded for not using them while at the same time placing the attacks in the public sphere.
While hammering at Hillary is the main focus of the column, Dowd does slip in two Too Thin To Win™ swipes:
“I’m looking toward the future now, a future that looks very bright, once we send Twig Legs back to the back bench.”And just in fairness, a brief reference to McCain’s shoewear is meant to show that he is not genuine populist, but a rich guy with better taste in pumps than Maureen.
“…My gals know when I say ‘We may have started on two separate paths but we’re on one journey now’ that Skinny’s journey is to the nearest exit.”
“…While he’s up on his high-minded pedestal, you’ll scoot past him in your Ferragamos.”Maureen also goes back to themes that she has mined. Compare the following part of this week’s column with a column from 2007:
Looking pleased, Hillary expertly downs another shot. “His secret fear is being seen as a dumb blonde,” she says. “He wants to take a short cut to the top and pose on glossy magazine covers, but he doesn’t want to be seen as a glib pretty boy.”Here was Obama being discussed over a year ago:
For some of us, it’s hard to fathom being upset at getting accused of looking great in a bathing suit. But his friends say it played into this Harvard grad’s fear of being seen as “a dumb blond.” He has been known to privately mock “pretty boys” (read John Edwards, the Breck Girl of 2004).It seems FictionalClinton reads OldDowd.
It’s in these fantasy columns that Maureen really lets the wretched rhetoric fly. Perhaps inspired by the Olympic diving competition, she goes for an unheard of degree of difficulty by combining an Alliteration Alert®, a Dowdversion™ and a stale Pop Cultural Reference all into one paragraph.
McCain lifts his glass to her admiringly. “If I do say so myself, while the rookie was surfing in Hawaii, I ate his pupus for lunch. Pictures of him pushing around a golf ball while I’m pushing around Putin. Priceless.”Let’s look at that in slow motion. Depending on how you count “pupus”, there are seven p-words in there, a rarely achieved level of alliteration. Then you have the “pushing golf balls/pushing Putin” parallelism. And finally “Priceless” evokes tired Mastercard commercial memories. Dowd is clearly going for the Gold in purple prose. But like any good diver, Dowd also adds one final twist to wow the judges:
There’s a knock on the door. Jesse Jackson sticks his head into the meeting.The non-too-subtle message here is that both erstwhile presidential candidates, the senator from New York and Jesse Jackson, are not to be considered allies of Obama. This column is the most explicit example yet of Dowd advancing what is the Subtle Sabotage Strategy™: Hillary Clinton is running her own 2012 campaign independent of and in opposition to Obama.
Whether Dowd is proved out to a cranky Cassandra or a prescient predictor remains to be seen, but it is clear who Maureen sees as the real enemy of The One. Hint: Her husband helped Maureen win a Pulitzer.