From the NYT article "Al Franken Faces Donald Trump and the Next Four Years/The two-term Democratic senator, who once made a living satirizing politicians, envisions an unfunny future," by Mark Leibovich. I picked that quote out of the center of the long article, but you should know that the article begins with Al Franken's observation that Trump never laughs.
I was looking to see what else Mark Leibovich has written. He inserted himself into that Al Franken article — I kept thinking of an Onion headline — right into the paragraph about Franken's headache. That seemed unusually egoistic for a NYT writer.
I looked back at my own Mark Leibovich tag and found 2 things:
1. In September 2008, I was amused by the images in a Mark Leibovich article about Joe Biden campaigning. According to Leibovich, Biden — "a distinctive blend of pit bull and odd duck whose weak filters make him capable of blurting out pretty much anything" — had been "absolutely butchering Senator John McCain across the Rust Belt this week." And: "Mr. Biden’s role is red-meat serious: to pulverize Mr. McCain..." Butchering! Red meat!
2. In February 2010, after Mark Leibovich wrote respectfully about Sarah Palin, I wrote a post titled "Sarah Palin was a blithering idiot until she became a devious genius."
Speaking of Palin (and speaking of meat), I'm seeing a Breitbart article about a Leibovich piece from July 2015, "Re-Re-Re-Reintroducing Hillary Clinton/The meticulously managed rollout of a candidate whom voters think they know already." The article begins with Leibovich describing seeing a moose by the side of the road as he was driving up to see Clinton at her hotel in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. According to Breitbart, "The Clinton campaign vetoed nearly the entire interview," including part of the moose story where Clinton speaks of having eaten moose stew and says: "So that’s why I always got a big kick out of Sarah Palin with all of her, 'We’re cooking up some moose stew here.'"
Leibovich opens his article using his sighting of a moose as a “point of connection” with Hillary. As instructed he conceals Clinton’s mention of Palin and all other portions of the interview the campaign vetoed. Despite allowing the Clinton campaign the ability to veto any interview content, in his article, Leibovich brags that even after the campaign sent him an email in the leadup to his story instructing him that the campaign office was “OTR” or off-the-record, he responded by writing that he “wasn’t abiding by any ‘office is off the record provisions.'” After dishing out the marching orders, Palmieri finishes by telling Leibovich, “Pleasure doing business.”Leibovich wrote about Hillary again on October 11, 2016, in a piece titled "I’m the Last Thing Standing Between You and the Apocalypse’/Inside the final weeks of Hillary Clinton’s cautious — and surprisingly risky — campaign." Excerpt:
Whenever I visited Clinton’s campaign headquarters in Brooklyn, the youthful energy and confidence of the staff was leavened by a detectably uneasy undercurrent. Either they are helping elect the first female president, assuring her place in history, or they will be the people who lost to Donald Trump...And as long as we're looking at old Mark Leibovich articles, here's something he wrote about Trump in September 2015, "Donald Trump Is Not Going Anywhere/Where does his political adventure end?/'I have no idea. But I’m here now. And it’s beautiful.'"
... I asked Clinton if Nov. 8 scared her. “No, not really,” she said slowly. I clarified that I was talking about the prospect of her losing. She knew what I was talking about. “I’m not going to lose,” she said. She shot me a knowing grin.
... Trump has grown into a kind of one-man chaos theory at the center of a primary campaign in disarray. The solemn party leaders desperately want him to go away; the consultant and donor class feel irrelevant (because they largely are to Trump); even Fox News, with which he episodically feuds, seems rattled. At the first sign that, after an uninspired performance in the second debate, Trump’s poll numbers were stalled, pundits on the left and the right rushed to declare yet another ‘‘beginning of the end’’ for Trump. And still he leads in every poll, and it’s October, and it keeps going. Where does this end? I kept asking Trump this as we sat around his office and rode around in limousines and airplanes. ‘‘I have no idea,’’ he always said, sometimes modifying the noun with a big, unclassy profanity. ‘‘But I’m here now. And it’s beautiful.’’No fucking idea.