“You must want a cigarette after that,” I teased the candidate after the amorous joint press conference, as he flew from Paris to London for the finale of his grand tour.Okay, so Dowd has some sardonic distance on the love fest — and yet I feel that she's teasing us here, showing off that she got close to the world's boyfriend — and can even kind of talk about sex with him. It's an interview. (Is Frank jealous?) She's on the plane, having a personal conversation! I'm jealous.
“I think we could work well together,” he said of Sarko, smiling broadly.Aw. The man in the bubble. Let's write a different movie scenario — one where the fabulously successful candidate realizes he doesn't want to live like this. He only wants to be free. He just runs off one night. Have him climb out a window. He melts into the crowd. No one ever hears from him again. Maybe he grows a big beard and starts wearing glasses. Spends the rest of his life giving free legal services to the poor and teaching night classes as a third tier law school somewhere in America....
He did not get to meet his fan, Carla Bruni. “She wasn’t there,” he said. “Which I think disappointed all my staff. That was the only thing they were really interested in.”
He admitted showing “extraordinarily poor judgment” in leaving Paris after only a few hours. Watching Paris recede from behind the frosted glass of his limo was “a pretty good metaphor” for how constricted his life has become, he said, compared with his student days tramping around Europe with “a feeling of complete freedom.”
But he can't climb out the window now. He's on an airplane. With Maureen Dowd:
“But the flip side is that I deeply enjoy the work,” he said, “so it’s a trade-off.”It's all about enjoying your work. Wouldn't it be amusing if some day, a President resigned because he just wasn't enjoying the work — not deeply, anyway?
But that comment makes me feel a little wistful and sad for the world's boyfriend. He admitted he feels trapped in his new role — he's given up his freedom. Yet, because he's a candidate, he had to immediately say that he really does enjoy it. Deeply.
Assertions of depth ≈ shallowness.
Life must be hollow now. Oh! I shed a tear for our boyfriend.
“One of the values of this trip for me was to remind me of what this campaign should be about,” he said. “It’s so easy to get sucked into day-to-day, tit-for-tat thinking, finding some clever retort for whatever comment your opponent made. And then I think I’m not doing my job, which should be to raise up some big important issues.”The sacrifices our boyfriend makes for us.
But he's going to be even better in the future. He's going to raise up some big important issues. He won't just raise issues. He will raise up issues. He will glorify issues. And not just issues. Big important issues.
I asked how his “Citizen of the World” tour will go down in Steubenville, Ohio.This is a good theme for him. Even, balanced, seeing the good and bad in everything....
“There will probably be some backlash,” he said. “I’m a big believer that if something’s good then there’s a bad to it, and vice versa. We had a good week. That always inspires the press to knock me down a peg....
“Even if you start believing your own hype, which I rarely do, things’ll turn on you pretty quick anyway,” he said. “I have a fairly steady temperament that has at times been interpreted as, ‘Oh, he’s sort of too cool.’ But it’s not real.”