Not-so-modern romance: This just in from the mid-1950s!


Who in the world is Gail Collins: Thank God there are no actual problems here in our current world!

This morning, in the New York Times, Gail Collins’ mind drifts back to a delicious case from perhaps the late 1940s:
COLLINS (12/8/11): Until now, I always thought the most depressing story of love with a married political celebrity was that of Kay Summersby [no relation], who was Dwight Eisenhower’s chauffer during World War II. She published a memoir that I have always believed—just as I believe Ginger White’s interviews—because nobody would want to make up something so bleak. Summersby said that she had, indeed, fallen for Ike, who made declarations of love in return but was unable to consummate the affair. After the war, perhaps hoping to give it another try, he promised to bring her back to the United States. Then he broke off the relationship in a letter dictated to his secretary, with a personal note written on the bottom that said: “Take care of yourself and retain your optimism.”

Now if that isn’t enough to quench the embers of political passion I don’t know what is.
Darlings! How delish!

Why is Collins off on this tangent? Because she devotes her column today to “the only part of [Herman Cain’s] last chapter that remains sort of fascinating.” She’s sort of fascinated by Ginger White, who says she had a long affair with the former hopeful.

Did White have a long affair with Cain? Like Collins, we have no way of knowing. But Lady Collins is stroking her thigh as she ponders the various things White has said in recent weeks. Her mind even drifts to that other alleged affair, the affair alleged by Gennifer Flowers! Before too long, the lounging lady is even sharing this:
COLLINS: One of the few ex-political mistresses I can think of who actually did get lasting retribution was Anna Bradley, the mistress of Utah Senator Arthur Brown, who in 1906 discovered that Brown was sleeping with an actress and shot him to death.

Let me emphasize that this is definitely not a strategy I am recommending.
Interesting! It’s not a strategy she’s recommending today. But it’s one she is writing about.

Just for the record, Bradley shot Brown in 1906, the same year San Fran burned!

We’ve often noted a peculiar fact. The New York Times has two women columnists. They seem to think they’re living in 1955, writing material for that era’s “women’s pages.”

Go ahead—read today’s column. Do these pieces arrive by e-mail, or through some special time warp?

Steely discipline: In fairness, Collins shows tremendous discipline today. This is the full paragraph concluding her rumination about the way Kay liked Ike:
COLLINS: Now if that isn’t enough to quench the embers of political passion I don’t know what is. Unless it’s White’s description of asking Cain for more financial support and having him demand that she sell the freeloading family dog first.
According to Collins, Cain told White to sell her family dog. Showing remarkable discipline, Collins moved directly ahead with her story. Mitt Romney’s roof-strapped dog didn’t appear at this point! Even though the connection is obvious!

Based on Collins’ established pattern (one mention of Seamus per week), you can bet a wad of cash: He’ll be in Saturday's column.

Collins does this twice a week. Ain’t it great to see the way the lucky duckies live?


  1. I think Collins reads your blog and puts those Seamus references in deliberately just to annoy you. But you are right. This crap would be an insult even to the "women's page".

  2. And twice a week you react. I think you both have something better to do - Regular readers know your issues with Gale and Maureen and agree with you. At some point, it's time to put them both to rest, along with Seamus, and move on to other topics.

  3. I agree with Anonymous at 4:53pm. Put them to rest and move onto other Campaign 2000 and the War on Gore. We need much more illumination on those.

  4. Look, I have no dog strapped to this fight, but I think the Times figures if they are going to have the Political Hedda Hopper they might as well have the political Louella Parsons too.

  5. I agree with the above posters. Please, less Collinsism and Dowdism, unless you're talking about their protegées, Parker and Petri, who are coming into their own (fatuousness), or the execrable Bruni and Keller, who are so awful it's amazing they keep (their) jobs. In the case of the latter, he's a millionaire's child, so I don't even understand why he feels the need to occupy a chair at the Times or anywhere else, but work does provide in fact satisfy the needs of the very rich too.

    But please, less about Collins and Dowd. They're the low-hanging fruit. Why don't you look at people like Steve Kornacki at Salon, or any of the snark-meisters at Slate, or the career players at the Atlantic, who will do and say anything to climb the ladder of Washington-Versailles fame, or the cheerleaders for the current president at the New Republic, except when they aren't cheering for him because he moves his ears or shoulders the wrong direction concerning the Middle East? Please, expand your horizons, Mr. Somerby. And can you give us your thoughts on the payroll tax cut, the situation in Europe, and other pressing topics, as you once did concerning the health insurance reform crisis in the US?