The Drudge Report, Fox News, and the New York Post are all reporting that the Clintons' marriage has hit the skids. None of these news outlets has a terribly good batting average when it comes to accuracy, but given the embarrassing physical details about Flytrap revealed last fall in the Starr Report, and the arguably more embarrassing dialogue in the new Andrew Morton book (see "Be a Babe Magnet Like Bill!!!"), it does seem plausible that Bill and Hillary are having rough marital times. (If there's truth to any part of Juanita Broaddrick's story, a matter on which Chatterbox remains rigorously agnostic, that could be a big strain, too.) Drudge, whose eagerness to venture onto shaky limbs is well documented, actually claims that the Clintons are already in a trial separation (the White House denies it). Chatterbox has no sources inside the marriage of Bill and Hillary Clinton, doesn't expect to acquire some anytime soon, and so isn't going to guess whether it's splitsville for the POTUS and Mrs. C. But the present or future possibility does provide the occasion for an interesting thought experiment: What if the first lady decided to date someone else for awhile?
Oh, sure. She'd never find another president of the United States. And the ex-presidents (George Bush, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Gerry Ford) are all married. Still, as the cliché goes, there are plenty of other fish in the sea. Why not take a look at what's out there?
In that "you go, girl" spirit, Chatterbox offers a list of Guys Hillary Should Consider Dating. (Don't dawdle, fellas! She's waiting for your call!):
Leon Wieseltier (likes to date famous older women; with new book, Kaddish, has developed his spiritual side)
Robert Torricelli (likes to date famous women; fortuitously, is running the Democrats' Senate campaign fund)
Ron Perelman (like Bill, a hard case; but rich)
Rupert Murdoch (now that would be a conquest!)
Bryant Gumbel (would give him something to do)
Paul McCartney (every boomer's dream date)
George Stephanopoulos (see Primary Colors)
Rudolph Giuliani (technically married)
Some Nice Rich Periodontist
The balloting is over! Click here to see the readers' nominations.
Chatterbox invites readers to submit other suggestions--send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Blatantly vicious entries will be excluded from consideration.
--Timothy Noah and Emily Yoffe