Frank Rich for President.
I am rather serious.
As serious as Frank was when he titled his New York Times week in review column a week ago: "Elizabeth Edwards for President."
I offer Michael Bloomberg as template. Another Manhattan A-list killer. Mayor Bloomberg's skills translated seamlessly to so-called "real politics".
Frank is the sole Democrat and power player whose positions are (to use his locution)
authentic and truthful.
Unlike nearly everyone except Bill Clinton, I've never once been bored when Frank Rich talks (ie writes about)
Friends recommend Frank's columns the way they tip me about great books and movies or exciting restaurants.
"I love Frank Rich," says my friend Rick in Santa Monica.
I particularly love how Frank drew the line in the sand a week ago and supported Elizabeth Edwards' unvarnished truth-telling about her cancer. I love that Frank yearns for such heartfelt talk from presidential candidates.
I love how Frank eloquently kisses off John McCain's unbalanced efforts to get the Republican nomination in his April 8 column while lauding McCain as a hero for his years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.
From what I know of the New York Times, Frank Rich is used to winning treacherous political actions.
One night at the theater he casually savaged his editor who was trying to impress an outsider (me) with his power.
"Filed yet?" asked the editor under his breath hiking up his trousers with great authority.
"Why?" Frank shot back.
"I wonder how you solved my problem with the piece."
"I didn't," said Frank turning his back..
I sometimes think of Rich as "Frank-the-Fixer".
He has more power inside the New York Times than anyone else. He could have been editor-in-chief at almost any point during the last decade or so-- had he desired.
He could have left to run New York magazine but he's got a duchy inside the Times and runs the newspaper of record as much as he cares to.
The man routinely takes emails and calls (and makes editorial decisions) from powerful talented people placing and un-placing New York Times articles.
Why am I not surprised to hear that Frank once had a late-night fistfight with then-colleague Paul Goldberger (also his editor for a time).
I'm betting that Frank pounded him to the floor.
I can't picture any elected Democrat demonstrating such moxy.
And yet, and yet.
The title of Frank's piece " Elizabeth Edwards for President" (published on April 1) is a tad jokey and at one level
hints at the condescending truth that Elizabeth Edwards won't ever be president--she's just a political wife. I'm betting the time will come when there will be no joke in such a title--no matter how many levels I excavate.
But hey nobody's perfect. And maybe I worked at Ms magazine too long.
Update: My apology to the people who left comments. They are great. I deleted them by mistake.