All the President’s Women – The Progressive, 3/30/2002

Every gal needs a hobby. In light of recent events — and really, there was so little light — and in keeping with my New Year’s Resolution, (not the one involving Helen Mirren), I decided to neglect my massive heartache about my country [did I mention I love my country?] I decided to take up the Bush Women.

This Administration loves the little women, so there are many, many, many, many from which to chose. But with W.’s [stands for war] approval ratings at 117% according to Arthur Anderson, I figured I better leave Laura along and look to the next line of offense, the Matalin/Hughes/Rice troika.

During Tom Brokaw’s very special “Touched by a President” reality-TV prequel to “The West Wing”, the threesome’s incredible power became clear. They’re right down the hall from him!

Mary Matalin, aide du camp to Dick Cheney, always looks as if she has just returned from some midday oral surgery and the novocaine in her lower lip hasn’t worn off.

Mr. Karen Hughes who keeps the Dub on time and on message frankly scares me more than Kate O’Beirne.

So I had just settled on Condoleeza Rice and found lots of dish in an interview in Oprah’s O magazine. It was in O’s “Freedom” issue just before “The Sap of Luxury” a great article about maple syrup. In her introduction, Oprah opines, “In all my years of interviewing, I have never been prouder to spell my name w-o-m-a-n than after spending time with Condoleeza Rice.” O is apparently a spell-check free space.

They talked about how cool it is to have an unusual name. Condi’s first name is derived from an Italian musical term meaning “to play with sweetness”, and her last name is great cold with balsamic vinegar for an afternoon snack or just to take the edge off hunger. Condi’s passions are shopping, exercise, classical music and Joseph Stalin.

But then along came Enron, and sadly, I have lapsed in pursuit of my resolution though not of Helen Mirren. When one is trying to keep up with the many strands of the Enron story, one does the Condi-minimum.

And there are more strands to this story than there are fiber optics in Global Crossing.

Oops, sorry, they just tanked.

There’s the heartache of the Lay family left with nothing, nothing. W’s mother-in-law losing eight thousand dollars. Turns out, she really didn’t. Recusements. Dick Cheney stonewalling on his energy panel’s right to privacy all the way to a decision by the Supreme Court. Odds are 5 to 4 for the Veep. I’m waiting for him to announce that there will be no future elections because they are just too divisive for homeland security.

The Karl Rove-Ralph Reed connection. The bona fide suicide of an Enron employee who was about to talk. No strands to Hillary Clinton and Vince Foster, yet. Ari Fleischer spinning more than an Olympic skater on steroids. The we-did-nothing-wrong stance of the White House. And they might not have. Which is scarier?

If nothing sticks to the White House, it should prove once and for Al that there is not liberal media.

My favorite strands involve the pseudo-egalite that Enron women have achieved. They are no mere sexual objects, but players. Sherron S. Watkins, an Enron exec, warned Kenny Boy of company implosions Maureen Castaneda had taken some of the shreds home to use as packing material and noticed some cute but questionable names. Nancy Temple of Arthur Anderson wrote a memo that fired up their shredders.

These women are described as “high enough on the corporate ladder to drive the action,” “close enough to the corridors of power to hear secrets” and “technically proficient enough to figure out what is going on.” I’ve got a little tear in my eye.

Kate “It should be illegal to display a flag on your person or property unless you can prove that you voted.” Clinton