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Maureen Dowd’s Two Teenage Crushes

Paul Newman and . . . . . WFB?

Newman was a rare liberal who loved the label; he made it onto Nixon’s enemies list for supporting Eugene McCarthy’s anti-Vietnam run. In 1997, I called him when he began writing a bit for The Nation (where he was an investor). He ranted about right-wingers “popping out of rat holes” but also faulted the Clintons.
“Everything is about what’s winnable, not about the morality of the issues,” he told me. In politics, as in racing cars, he said: “You can do anything if you are prepared to deal with the consequences.”
I was nervous the first time I met the star, because he’d been a teenage crush — along with William F. Buckley Jr. (I loved Buckley’s sesquipedalian dexterity — a lost art in the anti-intellectual conservative set of W. and Sarah Palin.)

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