Bryan Appleyard’s recent comments on the importance of literary tone came to mind reading Gail Collin’s article in the NYT today. I have been reading Collins on and off for a while and not really getting it, until today. She is writing on the brouha over Clark’s ‘swiftboating’ of McCain and deftly puts it into perspective while also dealing with the McCain campaign package and the way military service has played out in presidential election campaigns. Obama being the skillful operator has no intention of impaling his candidacy on the issue, knowing that if the past is any guide it won’t do McCain any good—indeed it may be a lethal distraction for the McCain campaign. They would do better to find something of substance—anything—that is going to appeal to the voters.
This column is really very good.