Before the applause for Senator Portman grows too enthusiastic, let's also note that his embrace of marriage equality reveals a fundamental failure of empathy in the first place. After all, we ought to assume that if not for his gay son, Portman would still oppose gay marriage.
For the most part first ladies seldom falter, which is why it was disappointing to read about the wife of a self-described "compassionate conservative" former president fumble on an issue of equal rights.
Every Wednesday from 8 to 10 a.m. i have a tennis game with my two sons and a fourth. Spring to fall, we play on the public courts in Central Park around 95th Street. In the winter, we play indoors at Midtown Tennis Club, 8th Avenue and 27th Street.
No matter how much we may imagine them now as marbleized icons of history, even presidents and first ladies enjoy searching out the ideal gifts to give loved ones at the holiday season, and sometime delight with an equal degree to receive them.
"Why?" I asked. "Well," he said, "our group would be forever grateful if you could fill us in on the details of what they discuss." Flustered, I replied, "You mean you want me to spy for you?" "Well, in a word", he broke into a smile, "Yes."
A month ago, I almost became the subject of one of my own medical school lectures, after an episode that illustrated one of the most serious health problems facing older adults and their doctors: falling.
We can read about the carnage of war in A Farewell to Arms, and the power of great aspirations in For Whom the Bell Tolls, and consider what each of us can do in our times by remembering what Ernest Hemingway and so many others did in theirs.
Some believe the Arab Spring can be divorced from American or Israeli policy and demands timidity in proposals for peace. This view is held by descendants of those with little vision who told Reagan he could not do what he did. They are wrong.
Michelle Obama is hardly the first to enjoy gliding over the waxed parquet on the wide, open East Room floor. Her "Dougie" is but the latest link in a history of popular American dance within first lady history.