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Comments: Week of April 16, 2012


1. Twitter loved our special issue on New York scandal, which gave a bite-size potted history of “310 years of disgust and delight” (The Scandalized City,” April 9). “You mean three centuries of NY fabulousness!” wrote @dezzzydez. “Must-read: this complete history of shocking NYC scandals,” wrote @annahyclak. “Good luck getting any work done for the last hour of the day,” added @bittyfitz. “Thx @nymag for introducing me to the phrase ‘tango pirate,’ which once referred to ‘exotic men whom rich women could pay for pleasure,’ ” tweeted @brianne_­garcia. Others zoomed in on the conversation on municipal scandals between two veteran muckrakers: “Someone needs to get Tom Robbins and Wayne Barrett a weekly radio show,” lobbied @frantaclaus. And also the issue’s final pages, in which we asked a number of prominent New Yorkers which recent scandal might still be remembered 100 years hence. “It seems to us like a Talmudic exercise where the opinions of the 25 ‘rabbis’ are quoted,” wrote Tzvee at his Talmudic Blog. “The result is an aggadic compilation for our times.” We also heard from a biographer of Ann Woodward, who took issue with our account of her relationship with her husband, whom she shot late one night, claiming that she’d mistaken him for an intruder. “As I showed in my book, This Crazy Thing Called Love, Ann Woodward’s greatest flaw was not that she wanted to kill her husband Billy, but that she was far too eager to please him,” wrote Susan Braudy. “And it was Billy who invented the fatal game: He got Ann revved up to hunt the prowler on their estate with shotguns, like they hunted tigers in India.”

2. In a column on the race to be Mitt Romney’s running mate, John Heilemann argued that popular favorite Marco Rubio would be a risky choice for the presumptive nominee, even as he hopes to rally the GOP base, and that Ohio senator Rob Portman was the likeliest pick—“solid and stolid, bland and boring, and as egregiously Caucasian as a potful of Uncle Ben’s” (Rolling the Vice Dice,” April 9). “Mitt Romney doesn’t need to worry about the friggin’ ‘base.’ The almighty ‘base’ will turn out in droves to vote against Obama if not for Romney,” wrote one commenter at “Romney needs to reach out to the center of the political spectrum and pick a VP who (a) can help him do that and (b) is genuinely qualified to become president if necessary, unlike Sarah Palin.” Another reader disputed the wisdom of picking Portman: “First, he was deeply involved in the Bush tax cuts and also the guy who made the disastrous cost estimates of the Iraq War. The Dems would have a field day with him. Second, he’s either unpopular or still unknown in Ohio. It doesn’t look like he’d give Mitt much of a boost.” Other readers pushed for Jeb Bush. “There is an outside chance that Romney will be able to persuade Jeb Bush to join the ticket. If the economy turns south by August, Bush may be tempted to take it in the hope that Obama may really lose,” wrote one. “Jeb Bush would wear the albatross of his brother’s unpopularity, but he’s certifiably prepared, well vetted, from a battleground state, and speaks Spanish,” wrote another. And a third quipped, of Romney, “Maybe he will pick Bain Capital as his running mate, since ‘corporations are people too.’ ”

Correction: In the article mentioned above, the sentence concerning Marco Rubio’s finances should have read that he has a history of personal debt and had been threatened with home foreclosure, not that he declared personal bankruptcy and had his home foreclosed upon. New York regrets the errors.

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