Pity the poor fans standing on line, shivering in the snow, waiting for the midnight release of the latest Jay Homnick column. Suddenly, bleary-eyed, they see a group of elite types being guided through the crowd by a passel of bodyguards.
They look at each other in a resentful flash of recognition: it's those Reform Club guys who always get the early glimpse.
Here's a peek:
A poll, than which no greater intellectual authority in our culture is conceivable, has declared that it is high time for a woman to accede to the Presidency. The mensuration of temporal height is not a discipline I have mastered, but I have scored a high mark or twain in political science. And in that field the time had grown to its full height almost four decades ago.
In 1966 Indira Gandhi became Prime Minister of India and served for fourteen of the next seventeen years; Golda Meir became her counterpart in Israel in 1969, Thatcher in England in '79. When Geraldine Ferraro ran for Vice-President alongside Walter Mondale in 1984, it was a familiar refrain among Republican types that "if Margaret Thatcher would be heading our ticket we'd vote for her in a heartbeat". Although it was kind of lame and pathetic that they felt the need to buttonhole everyone with that information, lest the chauvinist stereotype prove too adhesive, it had the homely virtue of being true.