Robin Williams Bounces Back QuicklyWho is Robin Williams new girlfriend? Which socialite is shipping out of town? And which actress-singer’s voice “doesn’t match her face” according to a Grammy-winning artist? Find out in our daily rundown of the juiciest bits from New York’s gossip columns.
Angelo Mozilo Just Wants to Help PeopleLAW
• After testifying in front of the House Committee on Government and Oversight Reform last week about the gargantuan pay package he picked up while his company hemorrhaged money, Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo made Congress a nice little offer: “Mr. Mozilo said he had left a card in each Congressional office with a help line for constituents having problems with their loans. He added that if the number didn’t work, “call me— I take this very seriously.’” [NYT]
• Since the federal death-penalty statute was revived in 1998, New York federal juries have been reluctant to impose the death sentence. [NYT]
• You know those ads for legal firms in the Metro? Yeah, they’re really not all that effective. [Legal Blog Watch]
Just in Time for ‘Times’ McCain Scuffle, ‘Time’ Editor Says Papers Shouldn’t Endorse CandidatesMEDIA
• What is the New York Police Department’s policy for awarding press credentials? Journalists wonder the same thing. [NYT]
• Time managing editor Rick Stengel ponders why newspapers endorse political candidates at a time when news consumers doubt the objectivity of the media. [Time]
• Details of the deal that Newsweek struck with George W. Bush’s former brain have emerged: It’s a two-year, sixteen-column contract. [NYO]
Semel Out at Yahoo, Microsoft In?FINANCE
• Courtenay Semel’s dad, Terry, is out at Yahoo. And Microsoft’s $44.6 billion bid for the company might just be déjà vu. [NYT, Deal Journal/WSJ]
• Recession-has-already-started watch: The economy lost 17,000 jobs in January, the first time since the lovely tech-crash days of 2003 that total payrolls have shrunk. [Reuters via NYT]
• One of the few lucky bankers with a bonus burning a hole in your pocket? Try London restaurant Vivat Bacchus’ new “Bonus Tasting Menu” for a mere £1,000. [DealBook/NYT]
Karl Rove Is a Sparkling, Multifaceted CreatureYou don’t usually get much insight into people from their Vanity Fair Proust Questionaire; usually it sounds like they’re just trying to show off. But not Karl Rove, whose answers in the latest issue are so interesting and thoughtful, we found ourselves, well, not hating him. Indeed, the Questionaire seemed to have brought out a new side of the former chief of staff, as the sunlight brings out the rainbows in a prism. For instance, could you have imagined that the earnest Texan is a fan of high-society satirist Evelyn Waugh? Or that his most overused phrase is “Fabulous!”? (How could that have worked at the White House? “Let’s start a war with Iraq.” “Fabulous!” “Let’s start a warrantless wiretapping program.” “Faaaaaaabulous!”) Also, he says his most deplored trait in others is not being authentic.
Okay, now he’s just fucking with us.
Proust Questionaire: Karl Rove [Vanity Fair]
UPDATE!: Someone just pointed out to us that VF editor Graydon Carter was not as enchanted by Karl Rove’s Proust Questionaire as we were. In fact, he devoted half of his editor’s letter to making fun of Rove’s answers and the man himself!
Bill Clinton Pulls a Karl RoveLate yesterday, Bill Clinton made an interesting statement while stumping for Hillary in Iowa. He predicted Mike Huckabee (who, like Clinton, hails from Hope, Arkansas) would win the Republican caucus today and even gave him a sort of hedging endorsement. From the Sun:
“Governor Huckabee has got a little hometown pride going because it looks like the Iowa republicans are going to give him the caucus.”
“He looks to me like the only one who can tell a joke. It’s a pretty dark crowd.”
“You know he was underestimated. He’s got on well here and it doesn’t surprise me.”
That’s weird, huh? Especially since in some polls (like one in Arkansas, for example), Huckabee is the only candidate who poses a threat to Clinton’s wife, Hillary. It’s odd that Bubba would add his weight to Huckabee’s momentum. Except, wait a minute, isn’t this familiar? Didn’t Karl Rove and President Bush sort of tout Hillary herself as an inevitable Democratic choice, thus playing into her “de facto nominee” primary strategy? Rove and Bush did it because they assume Hillary’s negatives will take her down in the general election, so they felt safe encouraging her. Does former president Clinton feel that Huckabee is already flawed enough that he can’t win in a national election? Or does he know something we don’t (other than, you know, how to run a country) that might come up later? We’re not sure. All we can tell you is you’re lucky we’re not drinking already.
President Clinton Predicts Huckabee Win in Iowa [NYS]