There are basically two kinds of New Hampshire voters. The first kind--not very different from those in the rest of the country--is represented by Frank Claik, a local dignitary from Littleton, who recently shook hands with George W. Bush. Claik is a former Democrat who switched parties out of disgust with Bill Clinton; he now says he is a Bush man. Was there a particular policy of Bush's that attracted his support, I ask. Some program? "Well, that's a tough question," Claik says. "I guess I think he's by far the best Republican, and that's why I'm for him." An idea? Perhaps an aura? "I'd have to think about it," he finally replies. Claik is the chairman of a local Republican organization.
Out come the long knives, the jabbering classes urging Al Gore -- now that the Supreme Court and a Florida circuit court have given him no love -- to put country above self. Congressional Democrats leak that time is running out. "Last gasp for Gore," The Boston Globe informs us; "Aura of Pessimism Pervades the Vice President's Team," reports The New York
Times. Among the punditry, reports The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz, "learned analysis of Gore's situation, after a careful sifting of all the relevant evidentiary matter, can be summed up thusly: Finito. Toast. Dead meat. History. Road Kill."
The frenzy surrounding Dave Eggers and his debut memoir, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, reached a certain kind of climax in late April. Eggers had already been beatified by critics, his book lovingly reviewed as a major breakthrough, and the journal he currently edits, McSweeney's, enshrined as a must-read, when The New York Times's Michiko Kakutani grouped Eggers among the emergent ranks of "pale-reds"--writers who have fused "the cerebral and the visceral, the high and the low, the world of ideas and the world of raw experience" to transcend the distinction Philip Rahv famously drew between the "palefaces" and "redskins" of American literature.