The Breakfast Table

Pineapples and Orchids


My guess is this tease story that we’re getting about Elizabeth Dole means that she’s likely to run. I hope not, though. Much as I would like to see a female president, I don’t want her to be Elizabeth Dole. I don’t know her individual position, but it seems that Republicans are for privatizing Social Security. This would not be an advantage for most Americans (I’ll grouse more about this later in the week). Social Security is likely to be the big domestic policy item on the next president’s agenda, seeing as the current administration probably won’t have the power to complete reform on this watch.

That said, I admit it would be very smart of the Republican Party to have Dole run, whether or not she wins the nomination. Voters in general tell pollsters they are turned off by the impeachment antics of the Republican male leadership in Congress. And the majority of women voters suspect the Republican Party of being uninterested in “nurturing” issues like health care, education, and Social Security, and they tend to vote Democrat. To have Elizabeth Dole with her nurturing/competent look and Red Cross credentials, running up front would do the party a world of good spinwise.

Closing on a more fragrant note, did you see the glowing review in today’s Times of Susan Orlean’s new book The Orchid Thief? I read the book over Christmas. It’s a strangely wonderful book about a wonderfully strange topic, orchid obsession, set against the lushest, wildest part of the Florida landscape, a place I wish I were right now instead of Blizzardville.

Still digging out, Maud