A frisson

theweek0703.jpgA frisson
: The best moment at The Week’s latest opinionfest at Grand Central:

Sidney Blumenthal, former Clinton aide, is on the stage and Dick Morris, turncoat Clinton aide, is on the phone.

Morris: “Hello, Sidney! We haven’t spoken in years!”

Blumenthal (growling contempt as he rolls his eyes 360): “Hello, Dick.”

Moderator Harry Evans: “This was a frisson!”

Morris couldn’t let a good punchline win the day. He kept nattering on the phone. Evans gave one of The Week minions an unsubtle “cut” sign across his throat.

Bye, Dick.

: As I walked into Grand Central and Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse for the event, I saw a confused but familiar face moving back and forth between two doors (which is defensible; it’s a confusing entrance). “You want to go there,” I told Gary Hart, who looked slightly startled, as if I were some Gawker stawker. “Oh,” he said, “you’re going to the same place.” Yes, I said. You’re on the stage. We walk in and Hart is greeted by a greeter doing her job. The next greeter points me in the same direction: “The green room is there,” she says. Oh, I say, I’m not with him. I’m not one of his people. Sadly, he has no people.

: The event asked (but, of course, did not answer): Is Bush unbeatable? Blumenthal was joined by Gary Hart, GOP pollster and strategist Ed Rollins, and FoxNews gabber Monica Crowley. The room was filled with many wrinkles from the ilk of Ed Koch and David Dinkins.

: Rollins acknowledged “blowing smoke up Gary Hart’s tail” as he said that Hart was the only candidate who scared him when he ran. The day damned near turned into a Hart lovefest.

When asked by Tina Brown whether Hillary Clinton could win against Bush, Rollins said that if Bush is beatable in six months, Clinton could win the nomination against all other Democrats in the field now.

There was suprisingly little nattering about Bush and WMD, indicating this will be a short-lived issue.

There was much nattering about whether Bush has yet taken homeland security seriously — and then, in turn, about whether the Democrats will be barking up at the wrong cat if they try making that their issue.

There is the beginning of much nattering about the Bush deficit, and a good thing.

In a discussion about the success and influence of conservative talk radio and TV Blumenthal said it’s noteworthy that in the last year, Americans have exploded traffic to The Guardian and the BBC because of a left-media vacuum here.

That’s the end of my notes.

: I enjoyed watching Nick Denton engineer the meeting of heat queens Tina Brown and Elizabeth Spiers. Yes, Tina does read Gawker.