Sunday, January 11, 2004

Maureen Dowd Says Something Clever (For Once)

Maureen Dowd's take on Wesley Clark's sartorial initiative to woo the feminine vote is actually clever, which is something of a rarity for her. I found the following snippet particularly amusing:

After General Clark's ill-fitting suits in his first few debates — his collars seemed to be standing away from his body in a different part of the room — a sudden infusion of dandified sweaters and duck boots just intensifies the impression that he's having a hard time adjusting to civilian life.

It's also a little alarming that he thinks the way to ensorcell women is to swaddle himself in woolly geometric shapes that conjure up images of Bing Crosby on the links or Fred MacMurray at the kitchen table.

"I think there's an impression that the armed forces is a male-dominated, hierarchical, authoritarian institution," he told The Times about his gender gap, notwithstanding the fact that the armed forces is a male-dominated, hierarchical, authoritarian institution. {You Go, Girl!]

After his rivals jumped on him for trading hats with the Bosnian war criminal Ratko Mladic in 1994, you'd think he'd stick to his true gear.

Or how about this passage?

Is his staff watching "What Not to Wear" or "Style Court"? It's discouraging to see presidential campaigns succumb to the makeover culture. Obviously, appearances count, but clothes don't make the man. Sometimes, they unmake him.

In the final stretch of Michael Dukakis's moribund '88 campaign, he borrowed an aide's brown suede jacket to look cozier. (If General Clark has trouble with civvies, Mr. Dukakis was a dud with military duds, aping Rocky the Flying Squirrel on that tank.)

A witty Dowd column is as unexpected as a Krugman column without unhinged fulminations against the Bushitler™, something to be savored in the knowledge that the experience is unlikely to be repeated anytime soon.