The New York Times goes tabloid

The above-the-fold story in The New York Times suggests the marriage of former President Bill Clinton and his hope-to-be-President wife, Sen. Hillary Clinton, is a union of political convenience, staged for public show while they lead mostly separate lives.  This is news?

Supporters of both Clintons admit their mariage is "complicated." Those less charitable call it "a sham."

Tuesday’s New York Times story by Patrick Healy raised a few questions one might expect to find in supermarket tabloids not the national "newspaper of record:"

Mr. Clinton is rarely without company in public, yet the company he keeps rarely includes his wife. Nights out find him zipping around Los Angeles with his bachelor buddy, Ronald W. Burkle, or hitting parties and fund-raisers in Manhattan; she is yoked to work in Washington or New York — her Senate career and political ambitions consuming her time.

When the subject of Bill and Hillary Clinton comes up for many prominent Democrats these days, Topic A is the state of their marriage — and how the most dissected relationship in American life might affect Mrs. Clinton’s possible bid for the presidency in 2008.

Notes the Times:

Because of Mr. Clinton’s behavior in the White House, tabloid gossip sticks to him like iron filings to a magnet. Several prominent New York Democrats, in interviews, volunteered that they became concerned last year over a tabloid photograph showing Mr. Clinton leaving B.L.T. Steak in Midtown Manhattan late one night after dining with a group that included Belinda Stronach, a Canadian politician. The two were among roughly a dozen people at a dinner, but it still was enough to fuel coverage in the gossip pages.

Since the start of 2005, the Clintons have been together about 14 days a month on average, according to aides who reviewed the couple’s schedules. Sometimes it is a full day of relaxing at home in Chappaqua; sometimes it is meeting up late at night. At their busiest, they saw each other on a single day, Valentine’s Day, in February 2005 — a month when each was traveling a great deal. Last August, they saw each other at some point on 24 out of 31 days. Out of the last 73 weekends, they spent 51 together.

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