Have you ever noticed that on the days where there is no real news, the crap stuff seeps in more readily? This is not to say that on a good news day there is quality stuff out there, but when the NSA is poking into our business, at least the big three plus the cable news nets pay a modicum of attention to issues that… I don’t know… matter.
And speaking of the NSA, just a quick story: When my husband deployed to Afghanistan in 2001 I was left behind on Fort Drum, the Army’s 10th Mountain Division (Climb to Glory!). Since this was the very first “real world” deployment in a long time, even experienced Army wives didn’t know what to do and I was far from qualified to understand anything. I pretty much just stood there and looked confused. Of the precious few pieces of advice I was given: The mail will be slow, “JAG” was not just a bad TV show and you needed them to fill out paperwork, and your phone calls would be monitored. Thus, when we were talking 14 times a day, my sister and I got into the habit of saying “hi” to those we referred to as the ‘men on the phone.’ Sometimes we gave them recipes because we’re friendly like that. So this NSA stuff? Sort of old hat. Hello again, my men-on-the-phone friends! Hope you liked that Yankee Pot Roast recipe we spoke about a decade ago. Somebody remind me to add a salutation now in my outgoing e-mails to the nice people at Verizon and at Fort Meade. Moni and I have a killer salmon recipe for you! Perhaps a poor choice of words….
Now back to the Invisible Primary.
Last week seemed to be all about my gal Hillary, whose activities seemed to be continuously and unimaginatively described as: “Fueling speculation of a 2016 run.” She rather coquettishly leapt ontoTwitter, describing herself as “wife, mom, lawyer, women & kids advocate, FLOAR, FLOTUS, US Senator, SecState, author, dog owner, hair icon, pantsuit aficionado, glass ceiling cracker, TBD…” and set the Twitter-sphere afire with loads of new followers jumping onto the bandwagon with alarming alacrity. She also spoke at the newly re-named “Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation” where she talked about early childhood education, always a decent issue upon which to campaign (the children is learning). So she’s getting good press, but all readers of this blog know that the media spotlights are hot things and coverage is capricious. Thus, the news that HRC is slipping a bit in the polls was both newsworthy and unsurprising at the same time. Ah, media attention: You fickle, fickle lady. The reason for the slip in the polls concerns, of course, the Benghazi affair which conservatives have locked onto like… conservatives onto the Whitewater Affair circa 1993. Huh. Anyhoo, a no less vaunted publication than Commentary has seized this moment to pile on and released this little nugget of joy about Hillary’s piss-poor performance at State, alleging not only did she cock up Benghazi, but under her watch the whole ambassadorial corps was riddled with sex scandals, a different type of cock up if you ask me (zing!). Suffice it to say, Hillary takes the media lead this week in our Invisible Primary, if only because of her seemingly road-block coverage of her Facebook-style “selfie” pictures. Oh, and by the way FLOAR stands for First Lady of Arkansas, so get your head out of the gutter.
Moving on to another relative of another past-POTUS (actually, two past POTUSES. POTI?), a warm welcome back to the IP to Jeb Bush, who spoke last week to the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s annual bacchanal (just kidding!) in Washington. Jeb, trying to get in front on this immigration issue, said the following: “Immigrants are more fertile, and they love families, and they have more intact families, and they bring a younger population. Immigrants create an engine of economic prosperity.” This truly bizarre statement brought out the funny from (never thought I’d say this) Sarah Palin, who remarked to the conference the next day: “I think it’s kind of dangerous territory . . . to want to debate this over one race’s fertility rate over another. And I say this as someone who’s kind of fertile herself.” Basically, Chris Cillizza in the WaPo had a nice piece here about the establishment vs. hard right kerfuffle in the GOP that is worth perusing if you haven’t already. This out-in-front strategy of Jeb’s is fodder for “will he or won’t he” 2016 speculation, but since his mom put the kibosh on it we can move along…
… to Chris Christie, who remains a media darling thanks to a crap-ton of press he has garnered following the death of NJ Sen. Frank Lautenberg. Calling a special election for October brought mixed reviews, but the Governor barreled through to “slow jam” the news with Jimmy Fallon, share an acclamatory stage with Bill Clinton, and then watch as his Gallup poll numbers rise to make him the most popular IP 2016 contender of the moment. Christie is on top right now as he walks towards his own 2013 gubernatorial re-election bid. He’s stealing a play from Hillary herself from the time that she ran for her Senate re-election in 2006: Raise a truck-load of money, spend bupkis, and keep the campaign cash in your war chest. You know. Just in case another election just happens to come your way. Maybe in 2016?
Oh, who knows. Wait. I know someone who might: Hey, NSA! What do you think?
OK, OK. Go back to keeping us safe for democracy or whatever. Really: I love your work. Have you lost weight? Hope you enjoyed that Yankee Pot Roast.
Big hugs to the men on the phone,