Go ahead and kvetch, blogger. Though you are clever, well read, socially conscious with a generous progressive heart - even a talented writer - you lack access. And in this world, access matters. Ask Helen Thomas, she'll tell you. But if you lack access, why not try fiction? Political science fiction.
On my transcontinental flight with Hillary, we laughed a lot because we were exhausted and everything seemed funny. It was the laughter of relief. California had been grueling. Racial politics dressing as unity is always a stretch, but a must with campaign designers this season. When we finally took off eastbound from San Francisco, we could relax, sip some wine and be silly.
"How do you keep going?" I asked.
"I really want to be President," she said. "I want to help our country."
"So does Obama."
"And there is no reason we can't do that together," she said. "The primary is rough. No way around that."
"People are wrung out trying to follow this endless campaigning, you know."
"Join the club. I haven't spent two nights in the same town for months,"she said.
"It's like The Amazing Race meets Survivor. Reality politics for the writers' strike," I blurted. We laughed. "Who'll get voted off when the tribe gathers for convention?" she pondered with a twinkle in her eye.
"At least you don't have to eat bugs,"I said. "And there'll be two survivors on the ticket at convention." "But only one candidate for leader of the free world," she said, suddenly serious, looking past me to a glorious future.
"One candidate to go toe to toe with McCain," I reminded her. "The consummate survivor in real life, not reality politics."
"But this isn't survivor. This is about wanting to change the direction of our country. This is about saying 'no' to one hundred more years in Iraq. This is about saying 'yes' to quality education for all children. This is about making sure everyone has health coverage. This is about improving access to higher education. This is about repairing the damage of the last seven years," She was on a roll as the plane flew over Texas.
"Hey, after you get the nomination, when you come to Michigan, I'd really like to interview you," I said.
"Sure," she said.
"Excellent, thanks," I smiled. The joy of access.
My dog started barking, shrieking as the newspaper man hurled today's Wall Street Journal up the driveway.
It was all just a dream. Thank goodness for fiction.