The Plank

Lost And Found


Ben Smith is a fine reporter and I heartily congratulate him on his boffo scoop: a "lost" copy of Rudy Giuliani's potential 2008 White House game plan. The particulars are interesting--but given that this black book is a whopping 140 pages, it actually sounds like somewhat of a letdown: Did we really need a secret binder to tell us, for instance, that Rudy's camp is worried about his reputation with social conservatives? And no mention of any new skeletons his operatives might be trying to hide? This reminds me of an episode from when I was a TNR intern in the early Clinton years. A colleague riding the subway to work found, to his astonishment, a document-stuffed manila folder with the word "WHITEWATER" written across it. For reasons I forget, he could clearly tell the folder had belonged to a GOP congressional aide. My colleague breathlessly rushed it back to the office thinking it was the discovery of a lifetime and we all pored frantically through its contents. Yet nothing in it turned out to be new or interesting. So, a note to political professionals: When you lose secret documents, please make sure they're truly illuminating. Thank you.

--Michael Crowley

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