Whoa, as Keanu Reeves might say.
I offer to write a midweek column if my colleagues just won’t gripe about my staying out on vacation an extra day, then I come in to work, and the column has created crazy buzz. It’s on the Drudge Report, the New York Post calls wanting to run it, and I can’t find time to catch up on my mail this morning…
Sure, it was an unusual column, in that I confided the sort of small things that a journalist picks up in the course of following campaigns, the things that form the almost unconscious impressions of character that usually don’t make it into print amid the policy pronouncements, spin-cycle "scandals" and repetitions of the Stump Speech. As you look through the comments coming in, you’ll see that some embrace this added dimension to reporting, and others dismiss it as utterly beneath contempt. The latter assessment was certainly predictable, which is why most writers don’t venture into this territory.
But if I’m going to evaluate a candidate in such a naturalistic manner, I feel obliged to share the following, which offers a colleague’s personal memory of the same event:
Interesting column this morning. Can I mention one thing to you? That day in the ed board back in 2004, I’m pretty sure that I mentioned his boots to him before he plopped down and showed them off. Just fyi.
Aaron Gould Sheinin
I appreciate Aaron sharing that, because it sharpens the focus of the particular sort of lens through which I was trying to examine Mr. Edwards. It doesn’t change my perspective; the contrast between his Andy Griffith-style (early Andy Griffith, a la first episodes of the first season, when he was still playing the Noble Hayseed to the hilt) conviviality with the board and his stiffing the regular folks is still there. But Aaron at least offers him the out of not having fully contrived that gesture on his own; he merely seized upon the opportunity.