Monday, January 7, 2008

Muskie as Punchline, Part Deux

Once again, the late Maine Senator Edmund Muskie's legacy just cannot shake his loss in the 1972 Democratic presidential primary.

First, on Sunday, a pundit on Meet the Press said Sen. Hillary Clinton would become "Ed Muskie in a pantsuit," if she failed to right the seemingly mighty ship that was her presidential campaign (I tackled that comment here). Today, after Sen. Clinton showed a brief crack in her signature stoicism (read: she pretty much cried in public), references to Sen. Muskie's tears (or were they snowflakes?) during the '72 primary jumped out. The folks at The New Republic's blog, "Plank," for example, referred to it as Sen. Clinton's "Non-Muskie Moment." Too bad the only time we hear Ed Muskie's name in the national media nowadays is when someone suffers an upset loss in a primary or when a politician sheds tears on the campaign trail.

It just shows you that, even when you give a man, I don't know, clean water and fresh air, he'll never forget the time you committed that faux pas on a very public stage. Nor will he let you forget.

- John C.L. Morgan

P.S. I never planned to become a Muskie apologist. It must be the provincial side of me.

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