As a way to get my parents off my back about getting a real job, I recently began working on Leslie Crocker Snyder’s campaign for District Attorney. Her opponent, the heavily favored incumbent, is Robert Morgenthau. As luck would have it, his son was Tom’s freshman year roommate.
One of the complaints about Morgenthau is that he is too old to keep up with the changing needs of a 21st century New York City. My candidate, on the other hand, showed a keen grasp of the important issues at her press conference last week:
Reporter 1: Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has been aggressively prosecuting white collar crime in New York. Do you think he has been overzealous? How proactive would you be as District Attorney on the issue of corporate malfeasance?
Snyder: Good question. You see white collar criminals are a lot like vending machines. There's all this talk among the Administration of replacing Coke and Sprite with water and juice. But have they once asked the STUDENTS what we thought? NO! In fact [brings out Venn diagram], 75 percent of students would like Red Bull or Rockstar in the machines, which actually have more sugar than Coke or Sprite. So to answer your question, yes, the Administration most definitely has a tin ear when it comes to students’ beverage-related concerns.
[Reporters chatter and scribble furiously]
Reporter 2: There has been a lot of talk in this race about reforming the Rockefeller Drug Laws. Is there a fear that if you eliminated harsh penalties the city might face a drug crisis that would rival the crack epidemic of the 1980s?
Snyder: Another interesting question. Again, this is an area in which the Administration is completely out of touch. Now as much as we all enjoyed the glass harmonica player last semester [reporters chuckle, Snyder waves them off], I’m sure in a city as culturally rich as New York, we can find more interesting assembly speakers. Here’s a headline for you: A vote for Snyder is a vote against Morgenthau snoozefests!
Reporter 3: You have been criticizing Mr. Morgenthau for the lack of diversity in his office. What steps would you take to ensure that the District Attorney’s office reflects the diversity of this great city?
[Snyder rubs her forehead in frustration]
Snyder: Okay. I thought I had made my position on this topic abundantly clear—what newspaper do you work for? Look—I addressed the issue of vending machines a moment ago, but if you insist on harping on it, this interview is over!
[Snyder stands up to leave]
[She is blinded by the reporters’ flashbulbs]
Following Snyder’s bravura performance, Morgenthau felt that he needed to hold a press conference of his own. Fearing that the press would go easy on the old man, Snyder planted me in the audience disguised as a reporter to ask a few particularly hard-hitting questions. Here’s how it went down:
[Morgenthau walks down the steps of the New York county courthouse]
[He is instantly mobbed by a throng of reporters]
Reporters: MR. MORGENTHAU! MR. MORGENTHAU!
Morgenthau: You! In the NotAboutDelinoDeshields fedora!
Me: Mr. Morgenthau! Mr. Morgenthau! Why isn’t your son better friends with Tom Lehman?! Tom says they’ve really lost touch since freshman yea—
[Morgenthau appears noticeably surprised and shaken]
Morgenthau: This interview is over! NO FURTHER QUESTIONS!
[Morgenthau is blinded by reporters’ flashbulbs]