Hide The Bunnies

by digby

Radar Online interviewed former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee

Do you know any of the presidential candidates?
I don't know them that well—I know "how do you do." I know Romney—"how do you do." I know Hillary.

What do you think of Hillary?
Well, I'm not as against her as some other people under my roof. Sally [Quinn, his wife]—I find the women are really very, very strongly against her.

What's that about?
I don't know...


Sally Quinn: In terms of entertaining being partisan, it started with Clinton. The people who were seen as “hostesses” were people who had money or were raising money.… When the stuff about Clinton and women started appearing, in the second term, things shut down. Everybody wanted to go hide in a cave. For people willing to defend him, it became intolerable for them to go out.

In 2000, after being elected to the Senate, Hillary Clinton bought a fashionable house near the British and Italian Embassies. Before her run for the presidency, she added on to the house in order to have more space for entertaining.

Since Hillary has been here in the Senate for the last eight years, I think I’ve seen her twice. Otherwise, she is at fund-raisers. She entertains constantly, but it is all political. It is people who work for her or raise money for her.

Sally doesn't like being ignored.

When people ask me why I think the DC Establishment is like a Village, I send them this link. I didn't come up with it. Sally Quinn did:

In Washington, That Letdown Feeling
By Sally Quinn
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, November 2, 1998; Page E01

"This beautiful capital," President Clinton said in his first inaugural address, "is often a place of intrigue and calculation. Powerful people maneuver for position and worry endlessly about who is in and who is out, who is up and who is down, forgetting those people whose toil and sweat sends us here and pays our way." With that, the new president sent a clear challenge to an already suspicious Washington Establishment.

And now, five years later, here was Clinton's trusted adviser Rahm Emanuel, finishing up a speech at a fund-raiser to fight spina bifida before a gathering that could only be described as Establishment Washington.

"There are a lot of people in America who look at what we do here in Washington with nothing but cynicism," said Emanuel. "Heck, there are a lot of people in Washington who look at us with nothing but cynicism." But, he went on, "there are good people here. Decent people on both sides of the political aisle and on both sides of the reporter's notebook."

Emanuel, unlike the president, had become part of the Washington Establishment. "This is one of those extraordinary moments," he said at the fund-raiser, "when we come together as a community here in Washington -- setting aside personal, political and professional differences."

Actually, it wasn't extraordinary. When Establishment Washingtonians of all persuasions gather to support their own, they are not unlike any other small community in the country.


But this particular community happens to be in the nation's capital. And the people in it are the so-called Beltway Insiders -- the high-level members of Congress, policymakers, lawyers, military brass, diplomats and journalists who have a proprietary interest in Washington and identify with it.

They call the capital city their "town."

And their town has been turned upside down

Like many a political observer, until I read this, I thought of DC as being more like a European Court filled with jesters and courtiers and grey eminences advising in the shadows. But Versailles could never be this hypocritically provincial --- and proud of it. DC is America, through and through --- America, ca. 1690. The Reverend Broder sentences the heretics to the stake while Sally Goodwyfe runs around screaming "burn them, burn them!"

It's always the dramatists who get this stuff right. Arthur Miller called it years ago.

Update: H/T to Jonathan at A Tiny Revolution who has more from the interview, here.

Did I confuse Bradlee with Jason Robards? He sure sounds like a jackass these days.