The publishing world can be a cruel mistress, so spare a thought for New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, who scheduled a Chicago event to promote her latest book not only on the night of the last presidential debate but also Game 4 of the National League Championship Series.
While the 5 p.m. event at the downtown Standard Club to promote “The Year of Voting Dangerously: The Derangement of American Politics” was slated to finish in time for both politicos and Cubs fans to make a mad dash for the door, a rueful Dowd admitted, “We’re all trying to get out — some people it’s the Cubs, and some people it’s the debate.”
Dowd, who won a Pulitzer Prize for her coverage of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, insisted she wasn’t indulging in the type of shameless pandering that has seen Hillary Clinton claim to be both a lifelong Cubs fan and a lifelong Yankees fan when she described Chicago as “the coolest place on earth.”
“It’s got all the Midwestern niceness with all the East Coast sophistication, and it’s got the coolest guys on earth,” Dowd told Chicago Inc., adding that she has been told by colleagues that Clinton, who grew up in Park Ridge, fits the mold of “a suburban Illinois woman.”
“When I covered Bush Sr., he used to claim five states as his home state,” Dowd said. “He would claim Connecticut, where he grew up, he would claim Maine, where he had a house, then he would claim Texas, and there were two others, which I can’t even remember!”
By contrast, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg “didn’t care” when she outed him as a Boston Red Sox fan, she said.
But Dowd — a Washington, D.C., native — said she had been rebuffed when she tried to borrow a colleague’s Ernie Banks-signed Cubs hat for her trip to Chicago, where she has several events over the coming week or so.
She has her own Cubs hat and likely planned to wear it to the event Wednesday night because “I’m a Cubs fan in emotional support, though I don’t follow it that closely. … There’s no one I communicate with here who isn’t an obsessive Cubs fan.”