The Lord knows that Hillary Rodham Clinton is not my favorite Democratic politician. She is very smart, extremely hard-working, immensely public-spirited, has her head screwed on straight, and understands what our national and global interests are. She is also not very good at telling which of the people around her are telling things straight and which are telling her pleasing lies. (Of course, George W. Bush is infinitely worse than she is along any possible dimension.
But surely she deserves better than David Broder. David Broder talks about the "two sides" of Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The first side: she knows and cares and has thought deeply and widely about public policy:
The Shadow of a Marriage: The two sides of Hillary Rodham Clinton -- the opposites that make her potential presidential candidacy such a gamble -- came into sharp focus Tuesday morning at the National Press Club. For the better part of an hour, the senator from New York held forth in a disquisition on energy policy that was as overwhelming in its detail as it was ambitious in its reach.... For the next 45 minutes, she read a wonkish text that covered every aspect of the energy situation, down to and including a description of the "geologic sequestration" potential for reducing global warming and making better use of coal....
It turns out that the senator has been thinking about energy issues for 35 years -- since she edited a fellow student's paper on OPEC at Yale Law School. And with her disciplined mind, she can fit separate pieces -- everything from mileage standards for cars to biomass and wind power -- into a rational plan that will, she says, not only move the nation substantially toward energy independence but improve living standards for almost every American.
The tone was not partisan; there were bows to Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana for his proposal to expand the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and a polite challenge to President Bush to help the U.S. auto industry meet its foreign competition.
At the end of her talk, little time remained for questions, and the first three simply asked for clarification of points in the energy plan....
The second side: David Broder and his friends like to sneak into her bedroom, go through her hamper, and sniff her underwear:
But the buzz in the room was not about her speech -- or her striking appearance in a lemon-yellow pantsuit -- but about the lengthy analysis of the state of her marriage to Bill Clinton that was on the front page of that morning's New York Times. The article, by Patrick Healy... touched only lightly on the former president's friendship with Canadian politician Belinda Stronach.... But for all the delicacy of the treatment, the very fact that the Times had sent a reporter out to interview 50 people about the state of the Clintons' marriage and placed the story on the top of Page One was a clear signal -- if any was needed -- that the drama of the Clintons' personal life would be a hot topic if she runs for president.
The Clintons, according to the Times, urged friends not to answer questions about the relationship and declined to be interviewed.... Three times in the question-and-answer session, she referred to her husband as "Bill," praising him for seeing that his library in Little Rock incorporated a lot of energy-saving features.
Other than that, the elephant in the room went unmentioned.
God forbid that David Broder should actually write about public policy. He can't, after all, listen to a 4000 word speech without finding it "overwhelming in its detail."
I'm swinging around to the view that there won't *be* a Washington Post in fifteen years. What value will it offer?