Which Governor Is Wackier?
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: January 24, 2009
Maureen Dowd is bitter. Even more so than usual. Two weeks ago she came out as an advocate for Caroline Kennedy to replace Hillary Clinton in the Senate. The answer to her titular rhetorical question is made clear by figuring out which governor crossed her. This week Governor David Paterson named Congresswoman Kirsten Gilibrand to the seat instead.
How mad is Maureen? Mad enough to praise disgraced Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (whose full name she never bothers to spell out in full).
I love Blago.That is a lot of love to merit a Alliteration Alert® like that. And why does she love Blago so much? Because of the brilliantly Machiavellian way in which he handled his Senate selection as she points out in the following rhyming Dowdversion®.
I love his beady little eyes. I love his Serbian shock of hair. I love his flaring nostrils. I love the way he jogs through the snow under indictment, like a stork in spandex trying to gallop.
I love the hurly-burly way the Illinois governor rammed through his choice for the Senate, compared with the namby-pamby way the New York governor strangled his best choice for the Senate.The best choice being Dowd’s bookstore buddy, Caroline Kennedy. So who do we end up with instead? Maureen goes with Movie Moment® comparison that will dog all ambitious mildly doughy blondes for all time.
So now we have an N.R.A. handmaiden in Bobby Kennedy’s old seat? Kirsten Gillibrand, a k a Tracy Flick, accepting the honor with her Republican pal Al D’Amato beside her on stage? Gross.Tracy Flick being the hyper-ambitious anti-heroine of the dark comedy Election. A comparison so important she makes it twice.
The 42-year-old Gillibrand, who has been in the House for only two years, is known as opportunistic and sharp- elbowed. Tracy Flick is her nickname among colleagues in the New York delegation, many of whom were M.I.A. at her Albany announcement.The Reese Witherspoon reference is not original to Dowd. Political gossip-mongers like Politico and HuffPo have stated that that is what her colleagues call her behind and her back and definitely not on the record.
The last politician Maureen called a Tracy Flick was Hillary Clinton back in April. And as with anything that raises Dowd’s dander, she sees the fingerprints of the Clintons on.
Paterson’s five weeks of dithering let the jealous vindictiveness of the Clintons and friends — still fuming over Caroline’s endorsement of Obama and Teddy’s blocking Hillary from a leading health care role in the Senate — poison the air. With his usual sense of entitlement and aggrievement, Bill Clinton of Arkansas did not want Caroline Kennedy of New York to have the seat that Hillary Clinton of Illinois held.So in Dowd’s rampage she is calling a pox on everybody’s house. The presumed rival to Caroline was Andrew Cuomo, so she now implicitly endorses him over Paterson.
Paterson wasn’t thinking of New York, only of how an upstate ally who was a woman would bolster his own chances for re-election. We can only hope that an avenging Andrew Cuomo takes him out in a primary.Since her campaigning for Caroline went so well, Dowd also names her preferred choice for taking out Gillibrand in revenge.
Carolyn McCarthy, who ran for Congress on an antigun platform after her husband was killed and her son wounded by a gunman on the Long Island Rail Road in 1993, said she may challenge the “N.R.A. poster child” in 2010.And the senior senator from New York takes a jab just for being in the line of fire.
Chuck Schumer embraced Gillibrand because at long last he can be the best-known senator from New York, something that would have been impossible with Kennedy.Perhaps the best way to summarize the rampage that Maureen is on is from Election out of Tracy’s mouth:
It's like my mom says, "The weak are always trying to sabotage the strong."So true, Tracy. So true