Bipartisan Adultery

David Frum and Danielle Crittenden

Bipartisan Adultery

David Frum and Danielle Crittenden

Bipartisan Adultery
An email conversation about the news of the day.
May 10 2000 6:03 PM

David Frum and Danielle Crittenden

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You make it sound as if I'm writing this from somewhere glamorous. In fact, I'm not in "Hollywood" yet--I'm still in the JFK departure lounge after an anonymous, stand-up encounter in the corner with a "Data Port" in an attempt to download your reply. It was pointless--it didn't work (or I couldn't work it), which reminds me yet again that Internet technology remains closer to the Mexican phone system than it does the cool handsets in "Star Trek." It looks like I will have to file this from the plane--if that port works. (This is turning into a dinner-table conversation.) You also give me too much credit for my talent in predicting elections. If you remember, I led the Women-for-Gramm movement (the three of us had a nice lunch at the Palm), and I still think he is the Sexiest Politician Alive. Besides, my ability to predict election outcomes does not--as you frequently point out--translate into any other really useful area, such as lotteries.

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Now, to get back to the spirit of this exchange (and here I must slip into my portentous, McLaughlin Group voice--you know, the one I use to tell you there is a leak in the ceiling). Let's discuss the News of the Day, or anyway what's left of the day. The issue on my mind--which I suspect is not the issue on yours--is the screaming headline on the New York Post, which I just purchased at the newsstand. It reads, "GOP honcho's advice to Rudy on marriage mess: WORK IT OUT!"

All I can think is, Well, this is a pretty fine fix for us Republican moralists to find ourselves in. All that delightful rushing to judgment we could engage in with Clinton, and now we have mud on our own guy. I'll give Rudy this, though--at least his affair is the traditional Other Woman kind, as would suit a conservative. His wife only threatened to perform in The Vagina Monologues--he didn't perform them himself in the Oval Office.

That being said, it is a tragic "mess," as the Post puts it. As with Clinton, it's hard to blame the guy for a wandering eye--being married to Donna Hanover-Not-Giuliani doesn't seem a whole lot more fun than being married to Hillary Rodham-Not-Clinton. But then, I suspect, living with Rudy is a lot tougher than living with Bill: Rudy strikes me as the kind of husband who would issue fines for every toy left in the living room after 5. Bill is--well, he's the kind you don't marry in the first place. And it's harder to maintain a false marriage in Gracie Mansion than in the much more commodious White House (though for New York it's not bad: What do you think it would fetch on today's market?). I just hope Donna is not now planning to run for Manhattan Borough President.

They just called my flight. At least I hope it's my flight: From the look of my fellow passengers it might be a drug run to Colombia.

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David Frum, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, is the author most recently of How We Got Here: The 70s--The Decade That Brought You Modern Life (click here to buy it). Danielle Crittenden is a columnist for the New York Post and the author of What Our Mothers Didn't Tell Us: Why Happiness Eludes the Modern Woman (click here to buy it).