First cousin to Mitt Romney’s dog: We were tempted to say we told you so.
Yesterday morning, Frank Bruni’s column started like this. It carried a Shanghai dateline:
BRUNI (9/3/13): I’m half a world from home, in a city I’ve never explored, with fresh sights and sounds around every corner. And what am I doing?It was so much like a Times columnist! Bruni had been sent to Shanghai. But once there, he had fallen back on “the comfort” of watching The Wire!
I’m watching exactly the kind of television program I might watch in my Manhattan apartment.
Before I left New York, I downloaded a season of “The Wire,” in case I wanted to binge, in case I needed the comfort. It’s on my iPad with a slew of books I’m sure to find gripping, a bunch of the music I like best, issues of favorite magazines: a portable trove of the tried and true, guaranteed to insulate me from the strange and new.
The analysts told us to strike. But Bruni then said that he forced himself to venture out into the streets.
We couldn’t use Bruni’s words against him! So we decided to use his words against his colleague, Gail Collins.
You see, last weekend, she did it again! In her latest pointless column, she treated herself to the comfort of playing the Butch Otter card:
COLLINS (8/31/13): Idaho's other Republican senator, Jim Risch, is up for re-election next year and Ferguson says he is confident there will be a candidate running against him, as well as an extremely strong nominee opposing Gov. Butch Otter. That is not really to the point of our current subject, but I always enjoy writing ''Gov. Butch Otter.''Collins had little to say again, as you can see from reading the column. But at least she wasn’t lying! She really does seem to take great pleasure from writing that funny name.
Otter served in the House for six years. He voted against the Patriot Act, a topic Collins completely ducked as editorial page editor.
That said, Collins didn’t discover Otter until he got elected governor. Her latest penchant surfaced in April 2010, when she wrote that Otter “is definitely the winner of the Most Fun Name for a Governor Award.”
For a full year, Collins did nothing with this information. Then, it hit her! Writing Butch Otter’s funny name could help kill time in her columns!
That Irish setter wasn’t enough. Starting in April 2011, Collins started her admittedly pointless citations of Otter:
COLLINS (4/23/11): Gov. Butch Otter of Idaho is so on the side of private enterprise ranchers that he just signed a law naming the gray wolf a ''disaster emergency.'' I would love to go into this, but he's actually not new in office. I just brought it up because I like being able to say ''Butch Otter.''He not only has a funny name. People! He was even on the board of the Cowboy Hall of Fame!
COLLINS (10/1/11): The Republicans are running out of governors to put up against Romney. This week the cry has been for Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey to get into the race, although I am personally rooting for Gov. Butch Otter of Idaho because of his strong record of fiscal conservatism and the fact that I really enjoy writing ''Butch Otter'' over and over and over.
COLLINS (10/6/11): How about Idaho Gov. Butch Otter? I have been promoting him as a possible presidential contender, mainly because I like saying ''Idaho Gov. Butch Otter.'' But there's much, much more there to recommend him. For one thing, I'm pretty sure he'd be the first president who was on the board of directors of the National Cowboy Hall of Fame.
COLLINS (4/11/13): Did I mention that Risch is from Idaho? The governor of Idaho is Butch Otter. He has nothing to do with this discussion. I just like writing ''Gov. Butch Otter'' as often as possible.
COLLINS (8/31/13): Idaho's other Republican senator, Jim Risch, is up for re-election next year and Ferguson says he is confident there will be a candidate running against him, as well as an extremely strong nominee opposing Gov. Butch Otter. That is not really to the point of our current subject, but I always enjoy writing ''Gov. Butch Otter.''
Based on the Irish setter fetish, Collins can maintain such behavior for years. That's why we felt it was time to mention this new inclination.
An obvious question arises here. In how many columns has Collins killed time with Butch Otter’s name and with Mitt Romney’s dog?
Surprisingly, the answer is three. Collins has rules for herself.