Last week it turned out that Hillary Clinton had had to lend her campaign five million dollars. I couldn't believe it. And I meant to write about it. But now several days have passed and no one seems to care any more. When I first heard about the loan, I thought it was big. In fact, I thought it was Big. I thought that if the news about the loan had come out two days earlier, just before Super Tuesday, it would have hurt Hillary. Also, it seemed to me it must have been completely traumatic for her. Let's face it, the Clintons are not exactly famous for picking up checks. I don't think they've paid for a Coca Cola in the last thirty years. The whole episode made me start thinking about women and money, and I could definitely have written an entire piece on the subject if I'd had time, but by the time I had time, no one really seemed to be talking about it; they'd moved on.
And so had I.
This is the attention-deficit-disorder election. Everything is happening at warp speed. Everyone is bouncing around on the net and changing the channel. Everything is shifting so quickly that there's almost no point in trying to keep up, but I'm trying. The other night, at a Super Tuesday gathering, I was so busy trying to keep up that I changed the channel and I managed to crash the entire cable system. It was not my fault. I kept saying that. I had changed the channel very carefully, because I know from my personal life how much trouble you can cause by crashing the system. Everyone at the party was good-humored about it, even though it took about forty-five minutes for the cable system to reboot and they had to move to the bedroom. Meanwhile I went home and flipped from channel to channel desperately trying to figure out what had happened on Super Tuesday. The day it was all leading up to. The day that was going to change everything. The day it was going to be decided. You remember Super Tuesday. It was seven days ago. Before the loan. Before the end of Mitt. Before David Shuster said "pimping" on television. Before the Virgin Islands and Maine. Before we all realized there was no avoiding learning about the superdelegates. Before Hillary fired her campaign manager.
By the way, I turned out to be wrong about the $5 million loan hurting Hillary, because now it turns out she raised $10 million this week. Women and money. Big subject. Too bad I'm no longer focused on it.
Why is John McCain so strangely subdued?
I have a fantasy about myself and Barack Obama. My fantasy is that he calls me up, asks for my advice, and I tell him to stop looking down at people. It makes him appear supercilious, especially on the debates. When he's on Meet the Press, it sometimes seems as if his eyes are closed. Maybe it's the set. I don't know. I'm sorry this is the sort of thing I focus on in my political fantasies, these petty cosmetic things, but I do. Sunday morning we changed the channel to Face the Nation, and there was Mike Huckabee. Such a funny guy. Loved the bit about eating squirrel. Of course I disagree with him on pretty much everything and there's no circumstance, including some sort of I-Am-Legend scenario, wherein I would ever vote for him. But I swear, if he were a serious candidate, I would be having a fantasy about telling him to fix his teeth.
Buy orange juice.
Less than two months ago, everyone I know thought that Rudy Giuliani had the Republican nomination sewed up. And then, suddenly, he was over. I've never seen anyone vanish so quickly. I wasn't surprised, though. Rudy wasn't having any fun and you could tell: it was as if he believed he'd died and gone to hell. Running for president has to be the worst job there is. Last week everyone who was running for president was hoarse. Bill Clinton was on 1010 WINS, and he was so hoarse you couldn't even tell it was Bill Clinton. Even I am hoarse, just from talking about the election.
Here's something British journalist Peter Pringle said recently that bears repeating: he said that watching Bill Clinton in this election made him realize he could not spend four to eight more years worrying about whether Bill Clinton would get home at night.
Sunday morning, as we were changing channels, we saw George Bush on Fox. He looked great. He laughed in a strange inappropriate way when he was asked if he had approved waterboarding. You know that laugh, that weird heh-heh laugh. He seemed cheerful and peppy. And why shouldn't he be? He's not running for president. He didn't have to live through Super Tuesday.
You remember Super Tuesday. It was about a zillion years ago.