When I walked into the office Monday, people were clustering around a computer to watch what they thought they would never see: Hillary Clinton with the unmistakable look of tears in her eyes.
A woman gazing at the screen was grimacing, saying it was bad. Three guys watched it over and over, drawn to the “humanized” Hillary. One reporter who covers security issues cringed. “We are at war,” he said. “Is this how she’ll talk to Kim Jong-il?”
Another reporter joked: “That crying really seemed genuine. I’ll bet she spent hours thinking about it beforehand.” He added dryly: “Crying doesn’t usually work in campaigns. Only in relationships.”
How would you know?
My dad, 87 and going strong, grew up in an era where he never saw or heard an airplane unless he traveled to do so. My first record player, given me by my grandmother, played her Jolson 78s; by the time I was old enough to shop for myself they had been relegated to the area behind the counter, where they stood in brown paper sleeves, being ignored. Now there's 600 vinyl albums in my basement I'm too lazy to transfer to mp3s, and my dad flies to Vegas whenever he feels the urge, without having to hand-crank the flivver to get to the airport. So why is Maureen Dowd still at the Times? There's plenty of room for incoherent crackpottery on the blogosphere, and there must be some equivalent of Behind the Counter and Out of the Way at the Times, at the very least.
And maybe they could devote her space to covering issues or imparting information or something. Just kidding. I'll bet K-Lo could handle the increased workload as well as Kristol does.