Monday, October 18, 2004

Shorter Safire

Scene: William Safire’s office at the New York Times. Phone rings.

SAFIRE: Hello?

ROVE: Bill? Karl. The Mary Cheney thing. Do it.

SAFIRE: Okay. You want “Snarky Smartass” or “Righteous Indignation?”

ROVE: “Righteous Indignation.” The base doesn’t get your New York sense of humor.

SAFIRE: Got it.

ROVE: Oh, and pull out all the stops. Just like you did with Agnew back in 1970.

SAFIRE: I’ve got a Golden Oldie I can put in at the end; Joe Welch to Senator McCarthy: “Have you no sense of decency?”

ROVE: Oooh, I love that one. Anyway, get on it before all the yahoos remember that Cheney’s been talking about his daughter since 2000.

SAFIRE: At your service. (Pause.) Uh, Karl…

ROVE: What is it?

SAFIRE: The next time He’s in town…?

ROVE: (impatient) All right, all right. You can touch the hem of his garment. But first deliver the column. Time’s getting short and I have to get down to Miami to rig the voting machines. (Click.)