Oh crap, I’ve done it to myself again. I was reading something that made me want to look up someone’s relationship to Sally Quinn and, WHOOSH, I went right down that same old rabbit hole. Why do I do this? It happens to me at least twice a year. One minute I am minding my own business, and the next I am reading a Sally Quinn column about Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin’s marriage. I must have some kind of irrepressible masochistic desire to hurt myself.

The way Quinn and Ruth Marcus tag-teamed Ms. Abedin was a wonder to behold, which only confirmed for me my suspicion that these two ladies are frequent brunch partners. I’m sure they were both only trying to help.

But why did I care? How did I get here? Is there any hope for finding my way back? Is this microphone on?

I vaguely remember passing this spot about an hour ago, which must mean that I am successfully backtracking. I didn’t think I’d want to read 800 words on what Sally Quinn thought of Hillary Clinton’s first (ever) tweet. And I was right about that.

On the other hand, here is something that I always remember fondly because…how could I not enjoy revisiting the most Sally Quinn thing that Sally Quinn ever did?

That public bit on her complicated love/hate (mostly hate) family dynamics cost Quinn her regular column in the Post but she still managed to get a piece in there in mid-2010 suggesting that Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden swap jobs.

Another scenario is that Obama could wait and choose Hillary as his running mate for 2012 and then simply have her step down as secretary of state so she could start campaigning. The catch with that plan, however, is that it would make Biden a lame duck and Obama would probably have to appoint an interim secretary of state. At any rate, this plan is being discussed in administration circles.

Take it seriously.

Eh, no.

So, here we have some not-too-distant history of Sally Quinn suggesting that Hillary Clinton should be (and would be) appointed vice-president, which makes me think that she has a complicated relationship with the First Couple of Little Rock. Also, reality.

Long before the Blue Dress, Sally Quinn had a problem with the interlopers from the Ozarks.

“This beautiful capital,” President Clinton said in his first inaugural address, “is often a place of intrigue and calculation. Powerful people maneuver for position and worry endlessly about who is in and who is out, who is up and who is down, forgetting those people whose toil and sweat sends us here and pays our way.” With that, the new president sent a clear challenge to an already suspicious Washington Establishment.

But after the sordid details of l’affaire Lewinsky became public knowledge, Quinn’s mortification took on Washington Monument dimensions.

But this particular community happens to be in the nation’s capital. And the people in it are the so-called Beltway Insiders — the high-level members of Congress, policymakers, lawyers, military brass, diplomats and journalists who have a proprietary interest in Washington and identify with it.

They call the capital city their “town.”

And their town has been turned upside down.

With some exceptions, the Washington Establishment is outraged by the president’s behavior in the Monica Lewinsky scandal…

…”It’s much more personal here,” says pollster Geoff Garin. “This is an affront to their world. It affects the dignity of the place where they live and work. . . . Clinton’s behavior is unacceptable. If they did this at the local Elks Club hall in some other community it would be a big cause for concern.”

“He came in here and he trashed the place,” says Washington Post columnist David Broder, “and it’s not his place.”

…Muffie Cabot, who as Muffie Brandon served as social secretary to President and Nancy Reagan, regards the scene with despair. “This is a demoralized little village,” she says. “People have come from all over the country to serve a higher calling and look what happened. They’re so disillusioned. The emperor has no clothes. Watergate was pretty scary, but it wasn’t quite as sordid as this.”

And so on.

I’m pausing here to say that, despite appearances, I think I may be back on the intended path. It leads to something about a video. Ah, yes, up ahead, there it is. It’s Ruth Marcus (“Hillary Clinton’s insultingly vapid video”) tag-teaming with Richard Cohen (“The icky commercial she used to announce her candidacy was hardly a position paper.”)

I knew this would lead me to Sally Quinn’s dining room.

I’ve never been there before, mind you, but I seem to remember that very early on in President Clinton’s first term the denizens of this dining room were scandalized by Bill’s penchant for going jogging in shorts that did nothing to disguise his pasty white thighs.


Yes, but in any case, it is Richard Cohen and Ruth Marcus who are dishing here about the “insultingly vapid and icky commercial” that Hillary Clinton used to introduce her campaign. Now, remember that we were not long ago talking about Hillary’s first (ever) tweet, which happened to come with a little bio that didn’t mention her faith tradition and therefore caused a titter of disapproval at the Quinn salon. This mistake was repeated with this campaign introduction video, which Peter Beinart didn’t miss.

All that cultural conservatism is gone in the video she issued last night. It’s not just the image of a gay male couple holding hands while announcing their impending wedding, followed later by what appears to be a lesbian couple. It’s not just the biracial couple. Or the brothers speaking Spanish. It’s also the absence of culturally conservative imagery: no clergymen, no police, one barely noticeable church.

“Yes, yes, did you see it? The church was barely noticeable!” Tut tut, and so on.

Richard Cohen didn’t really notice the totally gay aspects of the video: “It looked like one of those Vaseline-lensed dog-food commercials, so lacking substance that I wondered if I had summoned the wrong video from the Internet.”

I don’t quite know what to make of that imagery, but I think I will step slowly away.

Meanwhile, Ms. Marcus had this to say: “The more I watch Hillary Clinton’s announcement video, the less I like it. This may be putting it mildly.”

I’m beginning to feel like the Villagers still feel like the Clintons “came in here and trashed the place, and it’s not their place.”

Could the video really be this bad? Marcus says it is “a Verizon commercial without the substance.” And then she joins Cohen in using a strangely out-of-place and basically inept reference to a dog.

The message of Clinton 2015 was different: She’s in the race, albeit one minute and 30 seconds into the video, but she’s really in to win you, the voters, over. Just like you, planting your garden or trying to keep the dog out of the trash while the home renovations proceed (good luck with that), she’s embarked on a new venture.

I seriously can’t believe the lack of editing assistance these columnists receive.

If you really want to start to get a handle on the pathological almost schizophrenic hold the Clintons have over Sally Quinn’s dining room, just look at how Marcus concludes her critique of this video:

…there will be time enough for policy. Indeed, no politician does policy more seriously, with more detailed attention to the briefing books and seminars with the experts, than Hillary Clinton. This combination of intelligence and drive is actually a good reason to elect her president. Not that you would know it from this launch.

And Cohen:

Scanning the mob of Republicans now seeking the White House, there’s no one who approaches Clinton in experience or standing…

…As for the rest of the field, it is a political bedlam, quarreling, quibbling and kvetching over same-sex marriage, abortion and immigration, and in general waging the good fight against social progress.

So, after all this complaining about a video, we are told that Hillary Clinton has tremendous substance, does policy seriously, and has no peer in experience or standing.

And we’re told that it is a great sin for her to spend even a moment not focusing on policy and substance by people who just used their precious columns to ignore the stakes in this election completely in favor of critiquing a fucking video and basically savaging the candidate that they ostensibly favor.

I will close this interminable piece with these pearls of wisdom from Sally Quinn about Hillary Clinton’s first (ever) tweet:

Hillary Clinton is well known for her faith. She went to Sunday school and attended church all of her life, taught Sunday school, was a member of the altar guild and youth groups. When she came to Washington in 1993, she joined a Bible study group. She says she was sent daily scriptures from her group. She was dubbed Saint Hillary at one point for her religious leanings and even made a speech referencing Rabbi Michael Lerner’s “The Politics of Meaning.” When she became a senator, she joined the Senate Prayer Breakfast. She has always been supportive of federal funding for faith-based initiatives…

…The question is, does the Lord want Hillary to be president? Does she want to be president? Pundits took her tweet to be the launch of a presidential campaign. Yet it’s perfectly obvious that America will not vote for someone who is not a self-affirmed believer in God. We have a black president, and we will have a female president, a Hispanic president, a gay president and probably even a Muslim president before we have an atheist president. Those who talk openly about their own faith are more likely to appeal to the American public than those who don’t; we have even seen many shamelessly exploit religion for their own political purposes.

So if this tweet is her announcement that she is running, why would she describe herself as “wife, mom” but and not include “person of faith,” which, if you look at her background, she surely is?

In conclusion:

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