Babbling Brooks

Once upon a time, New York Times columnist

By Claire McNear

Once upon a time, New York Times columnist David Brooks (A.B. ’83) was Viewpoints editor of the Chicago Maroon. Then he graduated, leaving columns about zombie nightmares behind him, and went on to become one of the most widely read columnists in the country. And then he ate dinner next to an unnamed Republican senator and had his thigh slowly molested. Seriously.And get this: Not only did he live to tell the tale, but he decided to do so on TV.Choice quote:

DAVID BROOKS: You know, all three of us spend a lot of time covering politicians and I don’t know about you guys, but in my view, they’re all emotional freaks of one sort or another. They’re guaranteed to invade your personal space, touch you. I sat next to a Republican senator once at dinner and he had his hand on my inner thigh the whole time. I was like, ehh, get me out of here.JOHN HARWOOD: What?BROOKS: I can only imagine what happens to you guys.NORAH O’DONNELL: Sorry, who was that?BROOKS: I’m not telling you, I’m not telling you. But so, a lot of them spend so much time needing people’s love and yet they are shooting upwards their whole life, they’re not that great in normal human relationships. And so, they’re like freaks, they don’t know how to, they’re lonely. They reach out. I’ve spoken to a lot of young women who are Senate staffers and they’ll have these middle age guys who are sort of in the middle of a mid-life crisis. Emotionally needy, they don’t know how to do it and sort of like these St. Bernards drooling everywhere. And you find a lot of this happens in mid-life and among very powerful people who are extremely lonely.

Somehow “ehh, get me out of here” seems like a pretty muted response to me.