Anytime Maureen Dowd writes about Hillary, I figure it's good for an NB item. But reading and re-reading the pay-per-view Another Clinton Seduction at cock's crow, I just couldn't get a handle on what Dowd was getting at. Coming back to it in the light of a beautiful Ithaca morning, it suddenly dawned on me: Mo is mad at Hillary, and there are two reasons:
- Hillary hasn't been tough enough on George Bush; and
- Incredible as it might sound, Hillary - in contrast with certain NY Times columnists - has figured out a way to make men like her.
Dowd's ire is unmistakeable when it comes to Hillary's insufficient Bush bashing: "She has been like a silent-film star, lacking a voice in this chilling time when the Bush administration has Photoshopped the Constitution, portrayed critics as traitors, and spurred terrorism with a misconceived and mismanaged war in Iraq."
And then there's the sex appeal stuff. Start with the headline. Dowd suggests that in her own way Hillary is becoming as effective a seducer as her husband: "Now the woman who hated being called first lady charms with the most handkerchief-dropping feminine wiles and stratagems, from fetching coffee for senior male Senate colleagues to stepping to the background so that preening male peacocks can hog the live shot."
And do I detect a note of jealousy when Dowd reports: "One Hillary aide recently crowed to me about the surprising number of her male colleagues who have crushes on her"?
"Crowed" to Maureen? Sounds like Dowd took it as a taunt.
So peeved is Dowd that she comes close to aligning herself with Jerry Falwell, who recently compared Hillary to Lucifer. Referring to Hillary's habit of polling every move, and mentioning a report that "in 2003, the pollster Mark Penn created a 007-secret team to determine whether Hillary could break her pledge to serve a full Senate term and still have enough political clout to wage a presidential run," Dowd concludes: "it may not smell of sulfur, but it smacks of truth."
Yikes! Dowd-Falwell, same struggle. Who would have thought it?