Anna Quindlen

Stories by Anna Quindlen

  • The Clinic: A No-Spin Zone

    For anyone who has spent a lifetime listening to the bumper-sticker rhetoric of abortion politics, hearing Renee Chelian describe how she does things at the Michigan clinics she oversees is, no question, a shock to the system. "We're not going to correct a woman when she says 'baby' instead of 'fetus' and 'killing' instead of 'termination'," says Chelian flatly."If it's her body, she gets to use her terminology. We have to speak the language of the patients, not of political positions. Women don't come to us and say, 'I'm having an abortion because it's my choice.' They say, 'I'm having an abortion because I can't have a baby.' And sometimes they feel sad about that."These are some of the honest discussions taking place around America's most contentious personal moral and ethical issue. They're found in places like Northland Family Planning, where the counseling staff may suggest that a woman who is uncertain complete a pie chart with the heading "How much of you wants what?"At...
  • Everyday Equality

    I came to feminism the way some people come to social movements in their early years: out of self-interest. As a teenager, I was outspoken and outraged, which paired with a skirt was once considered arrogance. When I was expelled from convent school I was furious. Now I am more understanding. Would you have wanted to be the nun teaching me typing?I got on the equality bandwagon because I was a young woman with a streak of ambition a mile wide, and without a change in the atmosphere I thought I was going to wind up living a life that would make me crazy. As my father said not long ago, "Can you imagine what it would have been like if you had been born 50 years earlier? Your life would have been miserable."The great thing was that it was possible to do good for all while you were doing well for yourself. Each of us rose on the shoulders of women who had come before us. Move up, reach down: that was the motto of those who were worth knowing. But it was not just other women we elevated,...
  • Frightening- And Fantastic

    In may, as part of a program to prepare them for college, the seniors at my daughter's high school heard from a nationally recognized expert on date rape. In August, as part of their introduction to life on campus, the students at the liberal-arts college she is now attending heard from a nationally recognized expert on date rape--the same expert, offering the same warnings about the perils of sexual assault.Those perils are real. So are the dangers of binge drinking, drug use, unsafe sex, Internet predators, bicycling without a helmet, riding in a car without a seat belt and smoking cigarettes. And perhaps it's also a little dangerous to say of all of the above: enough!I'm the world's biggest fan of education and information. I was happy that my kids learned early how the seed and the egg got together, at school and from their parents. I like the idea of lung-cancer patients' visiting classes to show teenagers just how glamorous smoking can be once you've had chemo. Every time I...
  • A Nation's Fear of Flying

    Even discussions of architectural esthetics have taken a strange turn. The Bloomberg Tower is now finished, dominating the skyline in one area of midtown Manhattan; love it or hate it, it's quite a building. "I just wish it wasn't so tall," someone lamented at dinner.The citizens of New York, who live in the spiritual home of the skyscraper, now fear the office tower and the high-rise. In San Francisco they build structures that are earthquakeproof. But there's no structural steel, no reinforced foundation, that can ward off fear. And there are always the aftershocks: the Madrid trains, the London Underground and now news of yet another terrorist plot to blow up American planes. Hair gel may be the new nail clippers, but the sense of peril is just déjà vu all over again.It's been nearly five years since an area in the southernmost part of Manhattan was renamed Ground Zero. On September 11, 2001, New York became a city of survivors. That's on a sliding scale, of course: it would be...
  • Live Alone And Like It

    Somehow I wound up leading the same summer life my mother led. With school over, the household was transplanted a hundred miles away, in a place defined by weather: silver sunlight, soaking rains, calamine lotion, citronella candles, fishing tackle, raveling towels. The children were the centerpiece of the enterprise--sticky, grubby, unappreciative of an idyll engineered by others, always faintly sunburned on shoulders or nose despite the best efforts of the adults who dogged them with sunscreen. The fathers arrived on Friday night bringing the mail, their city clothes incongruous in the thick and buggy air.My mother, who died young, missed the next act in this summer-stock production. The children grow; they come, they go. Mostly go. They have their own cars, their own plans, their own sunscreen. Faint webs grow in the corners of the barbecue grill during the week. The Bactine is past its sell-by date. No one has needed stitches for the longest time. It's so quiet here.And that's...
  • The Failed Experiment

    You brush up against a lot of weird stuff in the course of child rearing, but one phenomenon that always had me scratching my head was the parents who hit their kids to teach them that hitting was a bad thing.In their defense, they had a civic model for that kind of bizarre circular reasoning. Americans still live in one of the few countries that kill people to make clear what a terrible thing killing people is.Hardly any other civilized place does this anymore. In the past three decades, the number of nations that have abolished the death penalty has risen from 16 to 86. Last year four countries accounted for nearly all executions worldwide: China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United States.As my Irish grandmother used to say, you're known by the company you keep.Last week the Supreme Court agreed to cogitate once more about capital punishment, a boomerang the justices find coming back at them time and time again. This new case is about the way lethal injection is administered. The...
  • Your Mother's Maiden Name

    I used to hear strange clicking sounds on my telephone and assume it was Verizon's usual level of service. Now I figure it's the National Security Agency. When USA Today broke the news that the Feds were tracking the phone records of tens of millions of ordinary Americans, allegedly in the interest of combating terrorism, apologists insisted that no one was listening in on individual calls. Except maybe for those calls made to foreign countries. I imagine transcripts of my many long and frustrating conversations with tech-service representatives based in India.And yet there has been little outrage about what is essentially domestic spying, the notion that the same phone companies that cannot manage to get an installer to arrive on time nevertheless effortlessly turned over to the government the records of most households and businesses. Maybe people believe swapping personal data for national security is a fair trade. But maybe no one is agitated because the notion of privacy has...
  • A Cubicle Is Not a Home

    Creeping codgerism is an inevitable effect of getting older, a variation of memory loss. When I complain that my daughter's skirt looks more like a belt, or that my sons keep vampire hours, those are the churlish carpings of a woman years removed from the days when her own dresses were sky-high and her idea of a good time was sleeping untilnoon. "Turn down that music," I have been known to yell, and my only saving grace is that I hear the words through a filmy curtain of generational déjà vu.Perhaps that is the kindest way to explain why Hillary Rodham Clinton veered off the grid of common sense to complain in a speech recently that young people today "don't know what work is." As she talked of an unfortunate sense of youthful entitlement and the good old days when there was only a single TV in her own home, it seemed as though any minute she would soar to the rhetorical heights of codger deluxe and describe walking five miles through the snow to school.The senator was indulging in...
  • Undocumented, Indispensable

    On May Day a persistent rumble came from Market Street in San Francisco, but it was not the oft-predicted earthquake, or at least not in the geologic sense. Thousands of people were marching down the thoroughfare, from the Embarcadero to city hall, holding signs. NO HUMAN BEING IS ILLEGAL. I AM A WORKER, NOT A CRIMINAL. TODAY I MARCH, TOMORROW I VOTE. I PAY TAXES.The polyglot city by the bay is so familiar with the protest march that longtime citizens say it handles the inconveniences better than anyplace else. Some of them remember the Vietnam War marches, the feminist rallies. The May Day demonstration bore some resemblance to both, which was not surprising. Immigration is the leading edge of a deep and wide sea change in the United States today, just as those issues were in their own time.Of course, this is not a new issue. The Founding Fathers started out with a glut of land and a deficit of warm bodies. But over its history America's more-established residents have always found...
  • The Sign Of the Times

    It is disconcerting, even a little frightening, to be in a place in which it is impossible to read the signs. As citizens of the world's most dominant culture, Americans often manage to avoid the feeling. They are now able to visit Prague, Paris, Rome, and to find not only the language but the fast-food restaurants and clothing brands to which U.S. citizens are accustomed:to travel abroad without leaving home.But touch down in Beijing, the capital of China, China rising, China booming, China building, and all bets are off. The irresistible object of the first adolescent superpower is meeting the immovable force of the world's most populous nation, with the world's fastest-growing economy. Above the din of skyscrapers under construction, you can almost hear the tecton-ic plates of history shifting. As President Hu Jintao visited the United States, the percolating issue was not whether China, too, would bend to our template. It was whether, given its size, its economic clout and its...
  • There She Was. There She Goes.

    A kid of my generation doesn't forget those rare occasions when she was permitted to stay up until midnight. I remember the Jiffy Pop rattling like maracas on the stove, a pitcher of Kool-Aid the incandescent pink of Barbie-brand plutonium in the fridge. I remember the ventriloquist's dummies and the shrieking arias, the tulle and the French twistsand Bert Parks, who had a man tan before man tan came in a bottle, crooning, "There She Is." And there she was, with the unsteady crown and the bouquet of roses and the teary smile. Miss America. Your ideal.Feminism killed off Miss America, but instead of leaving us with our memories, the pageant organization is presiding over a slow sad demise, like a deathbed with a talent component. Recently the people who run the franchise announced that they were reincarnating the preliminary rounds as a reality-TV show. This follows the ignominious slink from network coverage to Country Music Television, the ill-conceived casual wear and civics...
  • The Face in The Crowd

    Terrible things happened to Imette St. Guillen between the time she left her friends in lower Manhattan and when she was found dead, wrapped in a garish floral bedspread, amid trash and weeds miles away in Brooklyn. She'd been tied up, raped and strangled. A sock had been jammed in her mouth and her hair had been hacked off. And those were just the external signs. The real horror show had to have been what was going on in the 24-year-old graduate student's head.But there was one detail that haunted women talking about the murder, as they did in the city over and over again. It was what the assailant did to Imette's face. He covered it with horizontal strips of packing tape. The pretty woman with the dark eyes in all the newspaper photographs was effectively obliterated. The man who killed her also defaced her, in the most glaring sense of that term.It's commonplace for rapists to cover a victim's face, perhaps with a pillowcase or a piece of clothing. Sometimes it's so she can't...
  • Remembrance Of Things Past

    In the glow of modern progress, the stories I tell my children about my girlhood sound as ancient as the Parthenon, beginning with my impossible (and improbable) dream of being an altar girl. The classified ads divided by sex, the working women forced out of their jobs by pregnancy, the family businesses passed unthinkingly to sons-in-law while the daughters stood by: the witnesses to those artifacts are going gray and growing old.One of the most haunting reminders of those bad old days is on my desk, in a book to be published this spring titled "The Girls Who Went Away." I knew instantly who they were: the girls who disappeared, allegedly to visit distant relatives or take summer jobs in faraway beach towns, when they were actually in homes for unwed mothers giving birth and then giving up their children. They came back with dead eyes and bad reputations, even though, like some of those in Ann Fessler's book, they may have gotten pregnant the first time out. And they came back...
  • None of the Above. None.

    When I read that a presidential commission was considering standardized testing in colleges to gauge the level of learning, I was a little dispirited. I'd gotten a kick out of the fact that my homegrown college students were finally free of percentiles and national means. For what seemed like the first time since they turned 4, they were able to forget about filling in those little bubbles and swap their No. 2 pencils for paintbrushes, props, ancient prose and modern experimental poetry. And parties. Well, never mind that part.Then I realized that I was thinking small, and so were the Feds. Through their No Child Left Untested initiative, they'd managed to metastasize school testing so that it was everywhere, from the early grades through high school. Why stop there? Why stop at all?You there, with the plumber's van! Which of the wrenches pictured here is really best for removing this piece of pipe? Wait, wait--not the one that would do a pretty decent job if you held it the right...
  • State of Illusion

    Pity the poor presidential speechwriter. Each year, as a cold gray sky lowers over theWhite House, the State of the Union address also looms. Once, a captive television audience could be taken for granted, but now, when cable makes it possible to eschew the pre-empted networks for reruns of "CSI," it's hard to say if there will even be warm bodies in the cheap seats at home. And there is that pesky introductory sentence, the one that traditionally goes something like this:"My fellow Americans, the state of the Union is... "Confident. Strong. Stronger than ever.Dire. Disturbing. Disastrous.Those last three are the ones the speechwriter will never use. But at the moment they're far closer to the truth.Let's begin with the war in Iraq. Some complain it was poorly planned. The truth is that it wasn't planned at all. Now that Saddam Hussein is gone, it's hard to understand how an additional year or two of casualties will make a difference in the outcome for the average Iraqi. There's...
  • Open to All: The Big Job

    When the center for immigration Studies reported recently that 35 million American residents were foreign-born, the highest number in the nation's history, you could just imagine the reaction of the nativist types who wish all those people from elsewhere would just stay there. I found a quotation that summed up that attitude perfectly:"Today, instead of a well-knit homogenous citizenry, we have a body politic made up of all and every diverse element. Today, instead of a nation descended from generations of freemen bred to a knowledge of the principles and practices of self-government, of liberty under law, we have a heterogeneous population no small proportion of which is sprung from races that, throughout the centuries, have known no liberty at all... In other words, our capacity to maintain our cherished institutions stands diluted by a stream of alien blood."That's circa 1927, the lament of an advocate of restrictive immigration. But there's never really anything new under the...
  • Frankincense In Aisle Five!

    According to the story, a little more than 2,000 years ago a baby was born in a stable in Bethlehem while his young parents were in town for a nationwide census. Because of the influx of visitors, there were no rooms available in the more traditional places. Humble beginnings notwithstanding, the story continues, the baby grew to be a man who healed the sick, raised at least one friend from the dead, was crucified by the ruling powers and was then himself resurrected. His name was Jesus.Depending on where you stand, that story is the tale of a prophet, a political agitator or the Messiah, the son of God made man. It is either a myth or the great news, either ancient history, fiction or Gospel. What's beyond dispute is that it has endured through the ages, while the pantheistic stories of other great civilizations became lost to all except those studying the classics. Horrific wrongdoing by the people who embraced the story has not been able to kill it: the Inquisition, the Holocaust...
  • Enough of the Waiting Game

    The Iowa caucuses are currently scheduled for Jan. 21 a little more than two years from now, and the New Hampshire primary rolls around soon after.Who cares?The date of the next presidential election is Nov. 4, 2008.So what?The leadership vacuum is here now. The president's job-approval rating is skidding south, and there's a constant, roiling sense of dismay among people of all stripes. Those who think the administration has gone awry are looking for someone to strongly, intelligently articulate an opposing point of view on a broad range of troublesome problems.But the Democrats are waiting.Not all of them, of course. The reason that Vietnam vet John Murtha's passionate denunciation of the Iraq war stirred people so was that he was clearly calling on conscience, not listening to the click-click of political calculus. That sort of principled response, without fear or favor, has become the exception, not the rule, in the country and the Democratic Party.The rule is reaction, not...
  • The Wages Of Teaching

    A couple of years ago I spent the day at an elementary school in New Jersey. It was a nice average school, a square and solid building with that patented classroom aroma of disinfectant and chalk, chock-full of reasonably well-behaved kids from middle-class families. I handled three classes, and by the time I staggered out the door I wanted to lie down for the rest of the day.Teaching's the toughest job there is. In his new memoir, "Teacher Man," Frank McCourt recalls telling his students, "Teaching is harder than working on docks and warehouses." Not to mention writing a column. I can stare off into the middle distance with my chin in my hand any time. But you go mentally south for five minutes in front of a class of fifth graders, and you are sunk.The average new teacher today makes just under $30,000 a year, which may not look too bad for a twentysomething with no mortgage and no kids. But soon enough the newbies realize that they can make more money and not work anywhere near as...
  • Bedroom v. Courtroom

    Samuel Alito has heard hundreds of cases during his long tenure on the court of appeals, but the interested members of the American public are now likely familiar with a single one. It is the dissent in which Judge Alito ruled that it was not an undue burden for a married woman to be obliged to notify her husband that she was having an abortion.The rights of the accused, the separation of church and state, gun control: so many public-policy matters, and yet it always comes down to this. Within hours of the nomination of Alito to the Supreme Court, his long career had been transmuted into a single issue. And it was hard not to wonder: wouldn't this confirmation process be more illuminating if abortion were taken out of the public realm and put back where it belongs, in the private one?A mistake has been made in how this deeply divisive political issue is treated. The mistake is that it became a political issue at all. Once, abortion was not discussed in public, although it was...
  • We've Been Here Before

    The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is a tapering wall of black granite cut into the grass of Constitution Gardens. Maya Lin envisioned a scar when she designed it, a scar on this land, which is exactly right. Maybe someday his security detail could drive George W. Bush over to take a look. He'll be able to see himself in the reflective surface.The list of names etched into the wall begins with a soldier who died in 1959 and ends with one who died in 1975. Nearly 60,000 dead are commemorated here. It is the most personal of war memorials. You can touch the cold names with your warm fingers.The president never wanted the war in Iraq to be personal. His people forbade photographs of coffins arriving home. They refused to keep track of how many Iraqis had been killed and wounded. When "Nightline" devoted a show to the faces of soldiers who had died, one conservative broadcast outlet even pulled the program from its lineup.The president wanted this to be about policy, not about people. Even...
  • The Value of The Outsider

    On the center shelf, over the filing cabinets, sits the dictionary, the thesaurus, the copy of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, the complete works of Shakespeare and the Bible: in other words, the essential equipment of the workaday writer. But at one end is a paperback, pale ocher with age. It's the copy of "Sisterhood Is Powerful" I bought right after I graduated from high school.White cover, red female power symbol, an artifact. Much of it is rad arcana, although there's a dispiritingly contemporary quality to parts of the chapters on birth control, the Roman Catholic Church and the politics of housework. And some of it is a total galvanizing hoot--the guerrilla theater at the bridal fair, the nude-in at Grinnell to protest the politics of Playboy. Who would have thought, when feminists famously disrupted the Miss America Pageant in 1968, that it was the pageant that would eventually collapse beneath the weight of irrelevancy, relegated to a cable channel, while many of the goals...
  • BY THE TUBE, FOR THE TUBE

    On the second day of judge John Roberts's confirmation hearings, CNN's Jeff Greenfield felt moved to ask a question. The guest was Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, and Greenfield inquired why his fellows on the Judiciary Committee felt the need to use their limited time for bloviation instead of actually asking the judge questions. Senator Grassley replied in one word: "television."I can reply to that in three words: aw, come on.Members of Congress have had more than a quarter century to get used to the idea that cameras are recording their proceedings, and that this is an invaluable thing for the American people. Watching the hearings to decide whether Roberts should become chief justice was quite illuminating from several collateral perspectives. How could senators complain that they had not learned enough about the nominee when so many of them had wasted their allotted time giving pocket stump speeches? How come the aides who sit behind them don't realize that they, too, will be on...
  • Don't Mess With Mother

    The dark aftermath of the frontier, of the vast promise of possibility this country first offered, is an inflated sense of American entitlement today. We want what we want, and we want it now. Easy credit. Fast food. A straight shot down the interstate from point A to point B. The endless highway is crowded with the kinds of cars large enough to take a mountain pass in high snow. Instead they are used to take children from soccer practice to Pizza Hut. In the process they burn fuel like there's no tomorrow.Tomorrow's coming.The cataclysm named Katrina has inspired a Hummer-load of rumination, about class, about race, about the pathetic failure of the Feds after four long years of much-vaunted homeland-security plans. The president made himself foolish, calling for an investigation into who fouled up, perhaps ignorant of Harry Truman's desk plaque reading the buck stops here. The press rose to the occasion, awakened out of its recent somnambulant state, galvanized into empathy and...
  • THE BARRIERS, AND BEYOND

    Eileen Collins looks great in blue. That's the color of the NASA flight suit, and Collins, the agency's first female pilot-astronaut, was wearing one when she deplaned after her stint commanding the shuttle Discovery. It was thrilling for me to watch a woman lead a space mission, and it was difficult for Collins to get there in the first place. That makes us both part of a vanishing breed.The generation of women who have watched the world change from black-and-white to Technicolor as surely as Dorothy did when she went from Kansas to Oz is graying now, and those who come after us will never have the sense of amazement we have known. I'm a 53-year-old woman who found the closest thing to a childhood role model in biographies of Elizabeth I, and I will always get a kick out of women warriors who beat the odds. Look at Collins, who had to play the angles because she was banned as a woman from flying fighter jets, who became an ace at flying the training jets the fighter pilots had to...
  • SCRAP METAL, NOT SOLDIERS

    For my money one of the finest war movies ever made was the 1946 Oscar winner "The Best Years of Our Lives." There isn't a battlefield in it. Instead it's a story that begins as three soldiers head back to their hometown. There they fight against disenchantment, dislocation and the pervasive feeling among their families and friends that they should just forget about the horrors they've witnessed and get on with their lives. One of the most powerful shots is of a long row of fighter planes, stripped of their propellers and sitting in an empty field. Overnight they'd become scrap metal.The top U.S. commander in Iraq says we may be looking at a substantial pullout by next spring. As Al and Fred and Homer did on screen almost 60 years ago, American troops will be coming home, trying to find their footing, remembering what they'd prefer to forget. Will the United States government serve as well as they have, or will the newest addition to city streets be a guy sitting cross-legged in...
  • KEEPING THE ROBES CLEAN

    The man before the bench looks overwhelmed, standing hip deep in a pile of paper. "Abortion," says one document; "capital punishment," another. Government aid to parochial schools, undeclared war, de facto segregation. The poor guy is drowning in a tide of hot-button issues, a sea of cites. This may well be how the next justice appointed to the Supreme Court will feel, but the man in this editorial cartoon is Harry Blackmun 35 years ago. How little the world has changed. The same tide, the same sea.And one other thing has stayed the same: the high court. It has somehow remained a bulwark in a nasty world of inexorable lobbying, knee-jerk anti-intellectualism and self-serving politicking. America's basic insurance is tripartite government, spreading power around: the executive, the legislative, the judicial. The president, the Congress, the Supreme Court. Only the last has maintained a form and a function that merit respect. Its nine members do not press the flesh at picnics. They do...
  • NOW AVAILABLE: MIDDLE GROUND

    In theory, access to the drug called Plan B should be a no-brainer. It's safe, it's effective, it's easily available in dozens of countries. But Plan B is a drug used to prevent pregnancy, and nothing about preventing pregnancy in America is simple, except for the fact that so many women do it as a matter of course.Plan B is an emergency contraceptive that works by inhibiting ovulation, fertilization or implantation. It won't work if you're already pregnant, but it will stop you from becoming pregnant if your everyday contraceptive failed or you've had unprotected sex. But because it must be taken within a few days--it's sometimes called the morning-after pill--it's important to have ready access. Canada, Britain, France and a host of other countries allow women to get emergency contraception without a prescription. It's even distributed at public clinics in Peru, where abortion is largely illegal--and an estimated 400,000 illegal abortions are performed annually.More than a year...
  • THE JACKSON 12 PERFORMS

    Modern life has become a spectator sport. Folks with high blood pressure and no muscle tone look on as the sinewy and buff row, run and scale their way around tropical islands on television. Couples who haven't exchanged a meaningful word for days pay close attention as Dr. Phil advises the quarrelsome on how to put the magic back in their marriages. As the rate of restaurant dining rises and home cooking falls, viewers are glued to the Food Network, watching hollandaise coalesce and homemade bread rise in a TV kitchen set.The motto of us all might be "Do what I watch, not what I do."But perhaps the oddest manifestation of this is in the area of criminal justice. An alarming number of Americans may not know the names of their own members of Congress, but can tell you the identity of the discredited detective in the O. J. Simpson trial, the place where Scott Peterson said he was fishing on Christmas Eve when his wife went missing and the name of Robert Blake's murdered wife.Now they...
  • TESTING: ONE, TWO, THREE

    It's that time of year again, when the sweaters come off, the annuals come out, and the students prepare. For the test, for the test scores, for the test schedule for next year. The kids of America are drowning in multiple-choice questions, No. 2 pencils and acronyms. Along with the ABCs, there are the GQEs (Graduation Qualifying Exam), the SOLs (Standards of Learning), the TAKS (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills) and of course the SAT. A group called the National Center for Fair & Open Testing estimates that public schools give more than 100 million standardized tests each year.Full disclosure: in the interests of informed punditry I recently took a practice SAT test, the first standardized test I have taken since 1969, and by the end I thought the top of my head would blow off. Perhaps it was the reading-comp section on Keats. Perhaps it was the fact that I believe geometry is the Devil's work. Perhaps it was simply that doing any task for nearly five hours challenges...
  • LIFE OF THE CLOSED MIND

    A glorious morning for a commencement, the sky a blue tent cut with wisps of clouds over the Columbia University campus. From time to time a plane bisected the air above, an accidental eavesdropper on the passage of time and the celebration of joy. Clear weather, low-flying jets: it's what some New Yorkers still can't help thinking of as a 9/11 day.All over America graduating seniors are being reminded of what they--and their parents--can scarcely forget. Most of them left home and arrived on campus in September 2001. But that knowledge is particularly sharp here in New York. Some students chose to leave afterward, to migrate to the quiet college towns so many of their high-school classmates had chosen in the first place. But most stuck. After all, if they were scared off by what had befallen the Trade Center, then it meant the terrorists had won.Four years have passed, and it occurs to me, surveying the Columbia undergraduates, their blue gowns mimicking the blue sky, that the...
  • THE SAME OLD (NEW) HILLARY

    In 1992 I spent part of the day with the wife of the putative Democratic candidate for president. We covered the issues, the campaign and her husband's plans for the future. And we talked about faith, about how both of us believed our religion had led us toward a heightened interest in various social-welfare issues.That's the real Hillary Rodham Clinton. A lifelong Methodist, she's as reticent about her faith as a Sunday-school teacher--and she once did teach an adult class, back in Arkansas. Yet recently when she's mentioned God, knowing snickers have erupted. Ultraconservative pooh-bah Gary Bauer was quoted as saying it was "the ultimate makeover."Actually, a makeover has been underway since the former First Lady went to Washington under her own steam as a senator. It's just not the one Bauer means. People are finally seeing past the stereotypes and fabrications. In New York state her approval rating is just shy of 70 percent. After years of free-floating propaganda, her...