As you surely know by now, Bill Kristol wrote his final column today for the New York Times, sparing the paper any further embarrassment. But, as usual, he did not spare us all a good belly laugh: The news of his demise came in a brief tagline at the end of a column that, amazingly, opened, "All good things must come to end." It's about the alleged end of a golden conservative era.
A fitting end for a column that often made The Times read like The Onion.
Let's recall some of the highlights of his one-year (plus two weeks) reign, as chronicled in my new book "Why Obama Won":
-- His very first column earned a correction, when he misattributed a Michael Medved quote to Michelle Malkin.
-- Several other corrections followed, and his track record as a pundit was so poor it drove Jon Stewart to often ask, "Oh, Bill Kristol, aren't you ever right?"
-- Who can forget when he told Stewart he was getting wrong information because he was relying too much on... the New York Times. Stewart replied: "But you work for the New York Times, Bill!"
-- He touted, of all people, Clarence Thomas as a GOP vice-presidential candidate. Or, as the sage wrote of McCain, "He could persuade the most impressive conservative in American public life, Clarence Thomas, to join the ticket."
-- Later, smitten with Sarah Palin in a brief cruise stopover in Alaska, he pushed her for Veep, publicly and privately. Then he lobbied for McCain to let Palin be Palin, or as he urged: "Hockey Mom Knows Best." So we have Kristol partly to thank for McCain's single worst blunder and a real game-changer (though not as he intended) in the fall campaign.
So, for the laughs and for a new president, a tip of our cap to you, Mr. Kristol! Don't let the door hit you on the way out.
UPDATE: Kristol will write a monthly column for Washington Pos. Opinion editor Fred Haitt, not surprisingly, comments of Kristol's work at the NYT: "I thought he wrote a good column." New York Times in article claims the decision to cut Kristol was "mutual." Right.
Greg Mitchell's newly published "Why Obama Won" is the first "progressive" book on the 2008 race and why political campaigning will never be the same in the U.S. He is editor of Editor & Publisher.