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March 08, 2005

Susan Estrich on Writing a Column Critical of VP Gore

I've recently blogged on how Laurence Tribe falsified history in telling the story of his first Supreme Court brief. Susan Estrich appears to be an equally unreliable source of personal history. This article from the American Spectator tells how she had written an op-ed column attacking the Clinton Administration, but...

Estrich was then faced with an etiquette dilemma unknown to Post or Baldrige: "USA Today wants to run the column on Monday....On Monday, I am taking my children to the Easter Egg Roll at the White House. Then we're spending the night there." If she ran the column first she might by uninvited to the sleepover, but if she ran it afterwards she risked looking snarky and manipulative. And if she didn't run it at all one might get the impression she had been bought off or bullied. It was, she recalls, an easy decision for a woman of her integrity. "The only thing to do," she writes, "was to send it in and let the chips fall. I told my children we might be uninvited, but this was a matter of principle, and power. I sent the column to my syndicate."

But did she? She waffles a bit about it all in the next paragraph, disingenuously claiming that she "didn't know if any of the papers who take my column ever bothered to run it."

That is an incredible statement, of course. After all that worrying, she didn't bother to see if she had offended the most powerful man in the world?

The story continues, because thanks to computers, we can check on these things easily.

Contemporary accounts, as well as NEXIS, are more certain on this point: it was never published. According to the New York Daily News, Estrich in fact killed the piece after being yelled at by Al Gore. She also admitted that she withdrew a separate column intended for USA Today after a White House meeting where Clinton, just as Kinsey did in regards to his own office, admitted the campaign had a woman problem. Clinton's acknowledgement was enough for her to call off the dogs still unaccounted for, and when the campaign made only lackluster attempts to assuage her she kept her mouth shut even after her spiked column was reported in the press two months later. In the meantime, Gore did little to increase the number of women on the senior staff.

During the last Presidential campaign, Estrich publicly called for a smear campaign against Bush. She doesn't seem to be unduly extreme in her esteem for truth.

Posted by erasmuse at March 8, 2005 08:50 PM

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