Not that she had in any way disappeared, but Camille Paglia today returns as a Salon columnist after a six-year absence. I have always been fascinated by her shrill, smart, and completely original take on the current scene. Reading her quick take on the Presidential sweepstakes makes me very glad she's back. Her ambivalent presentation of Hillary includes this link to a March, 2003 video in which the New York Senator tries to be nice to a group of women war protesters wearing pink slips, but in the end snaps at them and makes clear how committed she was to going to war against Saddam Hussein. It's one thing for Hillary now to try to convince people that she really was against the war and that President Bush sort of tricked her into supporting it. It's quite another to watch this video and see where she really stood on the issue just before the invasion began.
My man Obama gets dismissed in a friendly way by Camille, who prefers Edwards on the Democratic side. The real stunner was her all-but-predicting that Mitt Romney will go all the way to the White House. To wit:
Don't count Mitt Romney out. Not yet nationally known, Romney hearkens back to the patrician days of sophisticated Republicanism. In 1994, on my book tour for "Vamps & Tramps," I was sitting late one night in the empty lobby of WBZ-AM NewsRadio, located on a lonely road in Boston. While waiting to go on the David Brudnoy Show (Brudnoy, living with AIDS, would die a decade later), I listened intently to the guest on air before me -- Mitt Romney, whom I had never heard of but who was then mounting his unsuccessful senatorial challenge to Ted Kennedy.
I was very impressed. When Romney emerged, I shook his hand and said, "You're going to be president!" -- something I have never said to anyone, before or since. He flushed with pleasure and embarrassed surprise -- as if I had uncovered a secret. Afterward I followed Romney's career from a distance -- his return to private business, his directorship of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, and then his surprise election as governor of Massachusetts in 2003. Stay tuned
And likewise, I'll stay tuned to Camille, hoping that Obama will prove her wrong.