One other thing about that Maureen Dowd column on Edwards that Isaac mentions below. Dowd writes:

Back in 2002, Edwards sent me a Ken doll dressed in bathing trunks, Rio de Janeiro Ken, with a teasing note, because he didn’t like my reference to him as a Ken doll in a column.

It really is kind of amazing how much time politicians spend sucking up to MoDo. As Noam has noted, Obama is "unusually solicitous" to Dowd when she shows up on the campaign trail. And who can forget this Dowd column from October 2001, at the height of the anthrax hysteria, which began:

John McCain called to try to talk me down.

I don't necessarily blame these pols for trying to curry favor with Dowd. As the Clintons can attest, it doesn't behoove them to get on the wrong side of her pen. But I wonder if there's any other columnist who gets this sort of high-level attention.

--Jason Zengerle