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The Art Of The Back-handed Compliment

I'm coming to this late, and it'll probably cause me some grief among the commenters and other bloggers, but sometimes you just have to step back and admire Howard Wolfson's handiwork. Yesterday's excellent Adam Nagourney account of Rudy's withdrawal from the 2000 Senate race had this nugget: 

Much the same sentiment is voiced about Mr. Giuliani by Mrs. Clinton’s advisers. “I’m not going to dispute you on this: He seems like a more disciplined candidate now,” said Howard Wolfson, who worked as Mrs. Clinton’s communications director in 2000, where he frequently tangled with Mr. Giuliani, and is serving the same role again. “I am surprised at the way he has kept his anger in check.”

I half-expected Wolfson to add: "I'm impressed at how he no longer frightens small children. Those disfiguring rashes have really cleared up..."

--Noam Scheiber