Re Gore. My temples are also starting to throb. Didn’t we just stop talking about this stuff about three months ago? And John Edwards is not much of a palliative. Actually, I think the guy to watch is Howard Dean, the governor of Vermont. Think of the fun if he’s the nominee. It’s now a tradition that when a sitting governor runs for president, every reporter in the hemisphere descends on his state to blow the lid off of the deplorable conditions there (and there were some deplorable conditions in Clinton’s Arkansas and Bush’s Texas). With Dean, we could have “Bed and Breakfasts: A Legacy of Lax Regulation,” or “The Inside Scoop on Ben and Jerry’s Tax Break.”
I was also riveted by Sedgwick’s piece this morning. I can speak only from the experience of writing one fairly straightforward volume of non-fiction, and it stretched every resource I had. But for the waters Sedgwick was wading into, just sitting down at the keyboard every morning was a singular act of bravery.
And to answer your question, Theodore Rex has been a pleasure. I’m glad Morris decided to part company with the fictional devices he used in Dutch. The story is rich enough standing alone. I’m about 200 pages in, so we’ve had the deal paving the way for the Panama Canal, the anthracite miners’ strike in Pennsylvania, and near-war with Germany over Venezuela. But my favorite section is actually about his morning routine with Edith. She encouraged his habit of having a six-course breakfast, then they spent about 20 minutes walking alone in the garden. Shortly before 9 a.m., before going indoors, she would pick a rosebud for his buttonhole. Then, “with a kiss warming his cheek,” he marched along Jefferson’s colonnade to his office. Reminds me of mornings here.