A Profile of Josh Mandel

by Reihan Salam

Though I was disappointed by Molly Ball’s take on Josh Mandel, the Ohio state treasurer now running for U.S. Senate  (if only every politician could be subjected to such an exchange, which would then be transcribed with awkward transitions fully intact), I was actually more exercised by her characterization of a young server in an Ohio diner:

At this point the waitress, who has bad skin and dyed-black hair, arrives with more coffee for Mandel’s weary driver. (Mandel is drinking iced tea.) “How’s that cottage cheese for you?” she asks.

“It’s good, Amanda,” he says.

One assumes that this kind of rich description is meant to convey writerliness.  But, I mean, what did Amanda ever do to anyone?