The Trouble With The Present Tense

The President is selling well now, but there is a more permanent dimension

A few weeks ago, after the White House dinner for British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the New Yorker's editor, Tina Brown, composed a "Fax from Washington" that she ran in her magazine's Talk of the Town section. It was a memorable bread-and-butter note, a valentine to her host, the President, written in the prose of a Harlequin romance: she sees "a man in a dinner jacket with more heat than any star in the room...his height, his sleekness, his newly cropped, iron-filing hair." Forget, wrote Brown, "all the Beltway halitosis breathed upon his image...the neo-puritanism of the op-ed tumbrel drivers." Instead,...

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