Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

Wed Alert

By last Tuesday, a question I'd asked President Bill Clinton (see "Clinton, Finally") had become a joke on Jay Leno. The question was this: "If Senator Clinton becomes president, what would your role be?"

The answer (buried in a much longer response) was this: "I'll do whatever she wants, and I have no idea what that is. I honestly don't know whether she's going to run."

Leno's joke on his June 20 show was this: "Clinton gave a speech this weekend where he said that if Hillary were president, that he'd do whatever she wanted him to do. Yeah, right! Why start now?"

By the end of the week, the joke was on me. A writer working on a book about Clinton's life post-presidency called to interview me about interviewing Clinton. How did he look, how long did he speak, had he said more about his potential role as First Gentleman. And at the end of a lengthy conversation, this: "Was he wearing a wedding ring?"

The nuances and niceties — and not-so-niceties — of the Clinton marriage have provided endless fodder for the media, and were dissected in a story on the front page of the May 23 New York Times. But while I'd noticed the small scrap of toilet paper on Clinton's shoe and recognized the big look of dismay on his staffer's face when the interview went way over schedule, I hadn't looked at Clinton's ring finger.

I'd missed the scoop of the century.