A millionaire trial lawyer who won’t appear on Fox News but will take six-figure advances from Rupert Murdoch — behaving insincerely?
The interview proceeded according to script, a lot of aw-shucking, smiling, showing of genuine concern, and warm expressions of determination to close the gap between the Two Americas. Then he left, and I didn’t think much more about it, until a week later.
On the 30th, Howard Dean came in to see us for the second time. Again, I was struck by how personable he was, so unlike his screamer image. I rode down on the elevator with him afterward, along with my administrative assistant and another staffer who was a real Dean fan (but, worse luck for Gov. Dean, not a member of our board). I paused to watch him take his time to greet everyone in our foyer — treating each person who wanted to shake his hand as every bit as important as any editorial board member, if not more so. I remarked upon it.
“Isn’t he a nice man?” said our copy editor (the fan). I agreed. Then came the revelation: “Unlike John Edwards,” observed the administrative assistant. What’s that? It seems that when she alone had met then-Sen. Edwards at the reception desk, she had been struck by the way he utterly ignored the folks in our customer service department and others who had hoped for a handshake or a word from the Great Man. He had saved all his amiability, all his professionally entertaining energy and talent, for the folks upstairs who would have a say in the paper’s endorsement.