Fictional ‘Power Couples’ and a Real Presidential Election

With America’s presidential election happening in two days, you’re welcome to comment here (before or after November 8) about anything related to that event.

But I also wanted to offer a literature column with some tenuous connection to the election, and came up with the idea of spotlighting fictional “power couples” who are roughly equivalent to Hillary and Bill Clinton — but not necessarily politicians and not necessarily as famous.

The first example I thought of are the two renowned 19th-century poets — Christabel LaMotte and Randolph Henry Ash — who have an affair in A.S. Byatt’s magnificent Possession. That fictional pair is loosely based on actual poets Christina Rossetti and (an amalgam of) Robert Browning and Alfred Tennyson.

There’s some sleuthing in Possession, which reminds me that there’s a high-profile couple in various Dorothy L. Sayers novels: wealthy amateur detective Lord Peter Wimsey and prominent mystery author Harriet Vane.

Also, we have TV host Doris Dubois and millionaire businessman Barley Salt in Fay Weldon’s The Bulgari Connection — which has a plot driven by Grace McNab Salt, who Barley the jerk divorced to marry the younger, glamorous Doris.

Or how about Mitchell and Abby McDeere in John Grisham’s The Firm? The husband is an attorney in a high-powered (but very suspicious) law firm and the wife a teacher at an elite private school.

Another possible example is Henrietta Stackpole and Mr. Bantling in Henry James’ The Portrait of a Lady. There’s no question that journalist Stackpole is well known but it’s uncertain exactly what Mr. Bantling does except be a member of the upper class, which makes him sort of prominent in 19th-century Europe.

Then there’s investigative journalist Mikail Blomkvist and magazine editor/majority owner Erika Berger, who are occasional lovers in Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and its two sequels.

Plus renowned neurosurgeon Rowan Mayfair and successful home restorer Michael Curry, who fall in love in Anne Rice’s The Witching Hour.

And prominent 1930s stunt pilots/lovers Fritzi Jurdabralinksi and Bill Bevins of Fannie Flagg’s The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion — in which Fritzi later becomes a Women Airforce Service Pilot (WASP) during World War II.

In J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, among the power pairings are the elite “Auror” Nymphadora Tonks and Professor Remus Lupin.

Another academic, marine biologist Humphrey Clark, was once in a relationship with high-profile feminist Ailsa Kelman in The Sea Lady by Margaret Drabble. (She and the aforementioned A.S. Byatt are sisters, making them a prominent family duo of a different sort.)

Who are your favorite power couples in literature? And, again, election comments are welcome!

(The box for submitting comments is below already-posted comments, but your new comment will appear at the top of the comments area — unless you’re replying to someone else.)

I’ve finished and am now rewriting/polishing a book called Fascinating Facts About Famous Fiction Writers, but am still selling Comic (and Column) Confessional — my often-funny memoir that recalls 25 years of covering and meeting cartoonists such as Charles Schulz (“Peanuts”) and Bill Watterson (“Calvin and Hobbes”), columnists such as “Dear Abby” and Ann Landers, and other notables such as Coretta Scott King, Walter Cronkite, and various authors. The book also talks about the malpractice death of my first daughter, my remarriage, and life in Montclair, N.J. — where I write the award-winning weekly “Montclairvoyant” humor column for The Montclair Times. You can email me at to buy a discounted, inscribed copy of the book, which contains a preface by “Hints” columnist Heloise and back-cover blurbs by people such as “The Far Side” cartoonist Gary Larson.

125 thoughts on “Fictional ‘Power Couples’ and a Real Presidential Election

  1. Dave, I wasn’t sure where to insert this comment and some of the threads were getting very long, so I just thought I’d start back at the beginning with my mini-rant. I’m sure you remember when HP made everyone who commented on anything would have to join Facebook (how could you forget? 🙂 This was something I really didn’t want to do, and why I was so happy to find that you had started your own blog. However, I also thought it was interesting to find a new site that discussed politics, religion and pop culture, so I signed up on, taking the word “salon” literally as was used during the Enlightenment. Much to my dismay, there is just as much or even more ugliness than in HP’s comment threads. Some of them are from Republican/right wing trolls, but I’ve become disturbed at times at how vicious the progressives and even some liberals (which I always considered myself to be) can be. This primary/election has been the worst and continues today. There is a small vociferous cadre of Hillary supporters like myself, though I’m not on every single thread as some are; but there is very large group who are still blaming Hillary and the DNC for Bernie’s not being the nominee, and it’s only HRC, WJC and those people like me who are totally responsible for every bad thing that has happened in this country for over 50 years, if you count Hillary’s time when she was a “Goldwater Girl” as a high school teenager! I always strive to be polite and respectful of others, but then someone will call me an idiot, moron or a know-nothing.

    Sorry, Dave, this is becoming a maxi-rant, but I feel like a dagger went through my heart yesterday. I will do all I can to go forward past this set-back for the good of progressives, liberals and the Dem Party. I understand why you voted the way you did; what does perturb me is that my state, PA, went completely red. If you look at the polls, they were saying HRC would win my state by 5%; however, when I looked at how the final numbers came out, Clinton would have taken the state if it weren’t for the Johnson votes and perhaps Stein’s. Plus who knows how many people didn’t vote at all, especially the Bernie-or Busters.

    Anyway, thanks for a forum for all us book, music and film lovers that allows us to comment without fear of being called names or ridiculed. As I’ve said before, I’ve got the utmost respect and admiration for you, so I hope I didn’t say anything tonight that was offensive to you or anyone else. As I was typing this, I realized I needed to delete my account on Salon and spend the extra time reading more books. My friend Bill just called to let me know he’d stopped and bought some books on pathways for my backyard and garden that I wanted to put in this spring, along with a composter. He said however that I’m on my own for buying books about raising chickens in my yard. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I meant to say something about the death of songwriter/poet Leonard Cohen. I don’t have any albums by him, but there are many people who’ve recorded his songs, most notably his friend Judy Collins, and the myriad singers who recorded “Hallelujah” (Jeff Buckley’s is my favorite).

      Liked by 2 people

      • Sad about Leonard Cohen’s death, but glad he reached his 80s, unlike many music stars. I only knew about a few of his songs — I don’t have any of his albums, either — but he was obviously a major, memorable talent.


    • Yes, some threads ARE getting rather long, Kat Lib. Glad you commented up here!

      Sorry Salon has been so ugly. What a shame. I agree that some liberals can be almost as vicious as right-wingers. I cringe at that, because liberals are supposed to be more tolerant — and many are. But some aren’t. I’m not that familiar with commenting on various national forums because since we all left HP I’ve only commented here and on a couple of Facebook groups local to my town.

      Sorry also about Pennsylvania unexpectedly going red. If New Jersey had done that, I would have deeply regretted my Jill Stein vote, but luckily NJ went for Hillary be a large margin.

      I realize Stein and Gary Johnson affected the numbers somewhat, but I think the majority of Johnson voters were Republicans who would’ve voted for Trump, and that more than canceled out the somewhat smaller number of Stein voters, who would’ve voted for Clinton. I think the election was more determined by a huge number of white men (and a pretty large number of white women) voting for Trump because of or despite his virulent racism and sexual-predator actions. And Clinton wasn’t enough of a change agent at a time when so many wanted change, for better or for worse. But that’s all just amateur analysis on my part — who knows what’s the truth. But I bet if Clinton had taken the chance and named Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren as her running mate, she would have acknowledged the need for change and would have won.

      Thank you very much for your kind words about the blog, and you haven’t said anything offensive! It’s good to debate these kinds of things.

      Good luck with the garden, and the possible chickens. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Morning Dave, someone posted in the other site saw this in his FB by a woman.
    There are many Hillary Clinton supporter in your blog this is for them. Thanks

    “If little girls from Gaza can play among rubble and rockets, I can get out of bed.

    If little girls from Syria can depart their homes on ill-equipped rafts headed toward unknown waters, I can wipe my tears.

    If little girls from Nigeria can walk miles to school on the same path their kidnapped sisters took, I can go to work.

    If little girls from Central America can spend weeks held captive by border patrol agents in detention, I can get through this day.

    If little girls from Indigenous populations can study their people’s language and culture in order to keep their sovereignty alive, I can stay true to my convictions.

    If little black girls from Flint and Ferguson can believe that their lives matter despite what officers and institutions repeatedly tell them, I can reclaim my self-worth.

    If little queer and trans girls from intolerant families and nations can believe that it will get better, I can envision a better tomorrow.

    If little girls from America can think they are strong and unstoppable no matter who tells them otherwise, I can be strong too.

    If that little girl from Illinois can make it to the top of the ballot and win the popular vote, I can continue to pursue my dreams.

    And if little girls from all across the world can continue to rise up, pounding at this seemingly bulletproof glass ceiling and raising their voices as they fight every single form of injustice imaginable- I can woman up and join them.”

    ~ author unknown

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The power couple I would say are our Previous ( irony) President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama the 43rd and 44 th President and First Lady.
    Oh what a man he is leaving the premises being one of the most popular President of United States. Inclusive to all and gave it all he could to elect Hillary Clinton .

    Michelle Obama American Lawyer from Princeton and Harvard law School. Gave up all to become a fashion icon, a role model for women, and an advocate for poverty awareness, nutrition, physical activity, and healthy eating. Spokesperson for LBGT rights.

    She lived for 8 ears in the House that was built by slaves and raised two beautiful daughters.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So true, bebe, and well said. A real power couple, with not a hint of scandal, and who raised two seemingly very well-adjusted daughters.

      The personal histories of Trump and his two possible cabinet appointees Giuliani and Gingrich are a car wreck in comparison. And while Chris Christie seems to have an intact family life and a wife with a career, he is corrupt to the bone.

      History will look kindly on the Obamas (though I still have mixed feelings about Barack’s less-progressive policies amid his progressive ones).

      Liked by 1 person

  4. “Fictional ‘Power Couples’ and a Real Presidential Election”

    Fictional ‘Power Couples’: Nick and Nora Charles in Dashiell Hammett’s The Thin Man.

    Real Presidential Election: Ugh.

    Liked by 1 person

      • A couple of early thoughts I had about last night:

        — Many U.S. citizens are in a very populist, outsider, anti-“things the way they are” mood in this have/have-not economy, so Bernie Sanders (or Elizabeth Warren, if she had chosen to run) would have had a better chance than Clinton to beat the disgusting/dangerous Trump.

        — The huge-crowd-drawing Sanders never had a chance during the primaries because most of the mainstream media under-covered him or covered him with negative bias, and because the supposed-to-have-been-neutral Democratic National Committee supported Clinton from the beginning. She’s competent and experienced, but didn’t fit the country’s current mood, and has had some questionable ethical things connected to her.

        Of course, lots of sexism is part of this, too. 😦


        • I disagree, respectfully. No self-proclaimed socialist could beat the demonization of socialism by the corporate press in a single election cycle. It’s sorta like name recognition– the socialism=bad formula is baked-in, deeply felt if dimly understood– turning all that around in one campaign could never have happened, though I’m happy to say, in my state’s primary, I voted for the self-proclaimed socialist.

          White supremacy is likewise baked-in. Our history is rife with it; our foreign policy right down to this very minute is all the proof required. Brown folk are blown up in the ME by accident or on-purpose, and not enough people really care here– I think because those blown up do not really rate,among us, as full-fledged equals to whites. The “no new taxes” bedrock and core of the GOP has resulted in an extraction economy which is visited on marginals and minorities in a great many communities throughout the US– through fines and fees, the revenue needed for local government is wrested away from the relatively powerless, though the government continues to serve with outsized regard, those who have voted most of all for no new taxes.

          Civil rights, I fear, in the minds of the while majority, has mostly been a matter of white largesse– for which the surly minorities have proved insufficiently grateful– not the result of victories won by minorities. The struggle, in those same minds, has been with conscience, not with people of color, and in good years, when the majority feels comfortable and confident, concessions are made, gifts are given. When the majority feels otherwise, the gifts are retracted– not all, never all– but enough that the minority is pointedly reminded of their ever-provisional status among the majority.

          White supremacy, as a hierarchy, has wealthy and powerful white males up at the tippy-top– who better, than the dominant sex of the dominant race, to run everything? Who could possibly be better at it? Of course this bedrock principle disadvantages a female candidate, or a candidate of color, which just goes to show what a miracle man President Obama has been, as a political phenomenon. I consider him to be the single most gifted politician in the history of the US, but his gifts stirred up unrest among those who could not accept him as their president, and most certainly would not elect his preferred successor.

          Trump is a white supremacist, who has surrounded himself with like-minded folk. For us, it’s a horror show. For too many of our fellow citizens, things just got back to normal.

          Liked by 2 people

            • Thanks for the link, bebe!

              I agree to a point. If I lived in a swing state, like Florida, I would have voted for Hillary yesterday. But New Jersey was clearly going to be a Clinton win, so my vote for Jill Stein didn’t affect anything. I just got sick of voting for “the lesser of two evils” — as I did for not-very-progressive Democrats like Carter, Mondale, and Dukakis. (I grew to greatly admire Carter in his post-White House years — best ex-president ever!)

              Nader affecting the 2000 results? Yes and no. I heard Nader speak in person at a 2001 editorial cartoonists convention, and some of what I remember him saying is that Gore couldn’t even win his home state of Tennessee, and that Gore actually won the presidency anyway but the Republican-majority U.S. Supreme Court threw the election to Bush.

              Liked by 1 person

          • I hear you, jhNY. Thanks! But I think this election was different. Many people were so sick of “the status quo,” getting screwed by elites, etc., that I think a DEMOCRATIC socialist like Sanders could have won — even though it would have been impossible for him to have won in previous elections. After all, a candidate like Trump probably couldn’t have won before, either. Social media makes a big difference, and would have somewhat blunted “red scare” tactics by the Republicans and the corporate press. Plus Sanders is kind of an avuncular figure.

            You’re dead right on white supremacy. Totally baked into American history, the American present, and too many (not all) living Americans. As you note, Obama getting elected — twice — indeed now seems miraculous. Trump has said and done so many awful things, but his “birther” libel against Obama was one of the worst.

            Very well said by you, as always.


            • This election was different all right: it’s called the clawback– The GOP lost nothing no place to speak of, and now controls the House, the Senate, the White House, and soon, the Supreme Court. Not to mention the vast majority– more than ever, as of last night– of state governments they possess. But it’s really but the latest iteration of the clawback. The midterms were the preliminaries, and really, nothing could be clearer today than how terrible, for its voters, Romney and McCain were as GOP presidential candidates. The hardcore right was right after all– the party, by second-guessing its core constituencies and values, nominated comparative centrists when its voters wanted red-meat reactionaries. When they finally got one who saw no reason to apologize for being what he was, THEY WON, despite Trump’s myriad and obvious flaws of temperament and powers of concentration.

              Had this been a real change election, wouldn’t you expect losses for them as well as the other half of the duopoly? After all, GOP intransigence prevented Democratic progress– that’s the story we’ve told ourselves all election long. Turns out, the voters, state by state, were totally OK with that. Pleased, even. Makes a shorter list of things the GOP will shortly undo.

              Had Bernie somehow been nominated, his trips to Cuba and Nicaragua, his embrace of a demonized political stance would have been turned swiftly and decisively against him by Trump of course, who would have bludgeoned Sanders with his own glittering businessman versus shabby communist smears, and by the corporatist press, which would have labeled him, effortlessly and successfully, as essentially foreign to real American values. And real American values, by which I mean the real ones, and not the ones to which many of us aspire, were at the core of Trump’s triumph, and to our own electoral undoing.

              This election, nation-wide, was a near-total victory for Republicans, and a near-total defeat for Democrats. We have absolutely no bargaining power now– the numbers just aren’t there. Not in the statehouses. Not in Congress. Not in the Senate.

              Since 1968, the GOP has wielded its Southern strategy, and has become, happily, the place where white nativism could not only find itself at home, but flourish– and now it’s nationwide.

              Liked by 1 person

              • That just about sums it up, jhNY. Excellent analysis!

                I still think Sanders could have won despite all the expected smears — with another reason being his amazingly passionate youth following. But one never knows…


                • Thanks, drb! Yes, Trump’s supporters will eventually see that they’ve been had. Trump doesn’t care a bit about the non-rich, but I guess he saw that being a fake populist was a potential winning strategy. He’s awful in so many ways, but not dumb…

                  Grief and anger — definitely. 😦 😦


                  • Respectfully disagree with your statement “not dumb”. Yes – he is very persistent in his insatiable need to feed his own megalomania -and he excels at that. But I see no evidence of any intellectual curiosity – I think I read that he said that he hasn’t read a book in years.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • And thank you for this forum that allows me to vent. I do apologize for getting off topic. This site is always filled with respectful and thoughtful comments – mostly about literature, but often veering off into other topics. I fell a little guilty about using this forum to “rant”.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I hear you, drb. Trump is definitely not intellectually curious, and, like you, I’ve heard he doesn’t read books. By saying he was “not dumb,” I wasn’t being clear — I meant he has some instincts, or some “common sense” that enables him to “succeed” despite being an atrocious racist, sexual predator, liar, egomaniac, etc. I realize it’s partly luck, partly being an ultra-rich white male, partly being somewhat photogenic, and so on.


                    • Thanks Dave – I wasn’t really apologizing for getting off topic (and recognize that I’m not really off topic). I appreciate all the comments – even when we get off topic. I was just feeling guilty about using this forum to rant. I feel like I come off like so many internet trolls. One of the things that so impresses me about this site – even going back to the Huff Post days – is the civility of the commenters. But as I said earlier: I am very angry.


                    • I deleted the test comment, drb.

                      What you civilly said didn’t strike me as a rant, but, even if it were, there’s a LOT of legitimate anger out there, and we have to vent before/while fighting for a better result next time.

                      I also greatly appreciate the civility of this blog, including people not being too hard on me when I said I would be voting for Jill Stein. 🙂 (I would’ve voted for Hillary if New Jersey had been a swing state.)

                      Liked by 1 person

          • I thought I was done ranting..but yet one more , many of Hillary supporters are missing after the 8th from here and I am missing you all so you know .

            I was at Kroger grocery in my trump town. Still did not get my voice back which is rough perhaps . I saw a man loading his car and his t shirt said ” Global Warming” and I smiled , but as I was getting closer it actually said ” Global warmBull” the man glared at me, perhaps saw the smirk in my face.

            Trump is anti- Science we all know that.

            Liked by 1 person

            • So depressing, bebe. Sorry you had to see that guy. To not believe in climate change is sheer ignorance on his part. Almost every reputable scientist believes in it, and it’s obvious to everyone that the weather is getting warmer, bad weather events are worse and more frequent, etc. I wonder if most climate-change deniers really do know it’s real but don’t want any of their corporate buddies to make lesser profits. Better to destroy the Earth… 😦

              Liked by 1 person

          • Thanks for the links, bebe! Yes, Julian Assange is a VERY mixed bag.

            I don’t have a major problem with Assange releasing all that stuff about Clinton (I’m all for transparency about politicians and other bigwigs), but he should have also released stuff about the much, much worse Trump.

            I guess this was Assange’s revenge against the Obama administration that vilified him and other whistle-blowers like Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden.

            I’m unclear whether the rape allegation is true or a fake charge to discredit Assange. If true, he totally belongs in jail.


            • Dave Assange meddled in US election and his intention was so Donald trump wins. You have some Hillary supporters here so i posted these . You could delete those links anytime you wish .
              I will post about power couple later, thanks for allowing me to speak up.
              You are the best.

              Again uneducated whites, KKK carried the election and gave it to President Trump.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Thanks, bebe! I definitely won’t delete your links (or any other link or comment posted by anybody). I believe in free speech, and it’s good to have all kinds of information out there.

                Assange was indeed a meddler; I just wish he had been an equal-opportunity meddler. Also, I’m thinking the Comey/FBI decision late last month, and certain other things, contributed more to Clinton’s defeat than the Assange leaks.

                Liked by 1 person

        • Asymmetry of power:

          A guy with a website, a server and a drop box can do as much to alter the political landscape as a sovereign government. But a guy and sovereign government working together can do more.

          from NY Mag:
          “Can’t we just drone this guy?” Clinton openly inquired, offering a simple remedy to silence Assange and smother Wikileaks via a planned military drone strike, according to State Department sources. The statement drew laughter from the room which quickly died off when the Secretary kept talking in a terse manner, sources said. Clinton said Assange, after all, was a relatively soft target, “walking around” freely and thumbing his nose without any fear of reprisals from the United States. Clinton was upset about Assange’s previous 2010 records releases, divulging secret U.S. documents about the war in Afghanistan in July and the war in Iraq just a month earlier in October, sources said.”

          I’m guessing, for Assange, beating Clinton had an existential feel to it. Personal. A matter of life and death.

          Liked by 2 people

          • One more
            by Sandip Roy
            Let me put it bluntly. It feels as if the asshole of America just unclenched and took a giant dump on the world.
            What else can it possibly mean when a country that voted twice in a row for a black man for President just chose a Ku Klux Klan-endorsed candidate? If Barack Obama was meant to symbolise his country inching to a “post-racial” America, now it has basically elected a “birther”, once dismissed as the paranoia of kooky ultra-rightwingers. Alt-right can hardly be called “alternative” when it is moving into the White House. It cannot get more mainstream than that.


            Liked by 1 person

                • Great/depressing link, bebe. Yes, the economically struggling white men who gave their hearts to Trump, thinking he’d make their lives better, are in for a huge disappointment. Their lives will be even harder if Trump and Congress shred the safety net (ending Obamacare, messing with Social Security, etc.).

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • I am not going to corrupt your blog but NY Post have cover of multiple nakeed Melania in there, nothing hidden 🙂
                    Do check them out Dave , someone posted them in another blog

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • Did see that, bebe. As we discussed, from class (Michelle Obama) to crass (those photos), with trashiness coming to the White House.

                      Actually, Melania might be a perfectly decent person who needed to do the photos for the money, before meeting Trump. But I can’t find much excuse for the choice she made for a husband.

                      Liked by 1 person

                • Yes, but drill down deeper and you’ll find: more white women voted for Trump than voted for Clinton, Trump got a higher percentage of the Latino vote than Romney did, and Trump did better with black male voters than Romney. Also, black votes were down, as most expected without Obama running, but Latino voter participation was about the same percentage as in the last presidential election.

                  In other words, those who ought to have been most offended by his direct insults weren’t, and those who might be depended upon most to secure Obama’s legacy mostly didn’t show, at least not in any manner than became significant on election day. I feel I voted mostly on behalf of those who couldn’t be bothered to stand up for themselves, despite having the franchise and opportunity to do so. At the very least, I would like to feel I voted on behalf of folks who could not stand up for themselves, but this was not the case.

                  Once again, a surprising number of people registered as Democrats did not come out to vote, despite the pols and much of the press shouting from the rooftops that this was a make-or-break election for the party and the future. Democrats stayed home. Are they really Democrats anymore?

                  It’s a Republican nation now– look at how few statehouses Democrats control, and how few governors they can claim. Now look at the US Senate, the House, the presidency, and very soon, the Supreme Court. All in Republican control.

                  The dogs aren’t eating the dog food. The voters aren’t buying what the Democrats are selling, at least not on a state by state basis. They don’t believe the Dems can fight past GOP intransigence, and they’re right. Maybe they don’t even want them to. After all, the reward at the polls for all that intransigence is: President Trump, that laughable buffoon who still got the majority of the votes of all white college educated males in the US.

                  And the electoral college, we will always have with us.

                  Sorry– I mean to communicate with you in a friendly and open manner, and I don’t want to cause offense.

                  But I think Step One for all of us who voted for the losing party is to consider the facts on the ground, no matter how it feels, no matter what we’d prefer to believe.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • You make many good points, jhNY.

                    What the Democratic Party is “selling” many potential Democratic voters are not “buying.” Many Dem candidates — including Hillary Clinton — have been “Republican lite” in various ways, at least partly captured by corporate interests, sometimes corrupt (as with the shenanigans Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Donna Brazile pulled as DNC chairs), kind of wimpy in taking on the GOP, etc. So there’s an enthusiasm deficit. Sanders stirred up immense enthusiasm, but that was tamped down by the Democratic Party.

                    It’s kind of shocking how many women and Latinos/Latinas voted for Trump, even if they weren’t very enamored with Clinton.

                    Liked by 1 person

                  • I agree so as many Asians voted for Trump. To me Mike Pence is way more dangerous than Trump. As a rule Democrats are more interested in blogging than going to the booth to vote. Republican always vote but we never learn our lessons do we.
                    I am a huge fan of Garrison Keillor , NPR miss him so much but he does n`t want to be silenced.


                    Liked by 1 person

                    • Thanks, sincerely. I treasure the easy and friendly atmosphere of Dave’s Place, and and I, curmudgeon though I surely am, do try to do my part to keep it up, such as I am able.

                      Lots to learn back atcha! Rabindranath Tagore, for example….

                      Liked by 2 people

          • Yes, jhNY, for Assange it was definitely personal (to quote a Jack Reacher book title). And if he worked with Russia, not good — but no dirtier an alliance than many U.S. alliances over the years.

            Clinton’s killing suggestion, whether joking or not, doesn’t reflect well on her.


          • Still there’s hope , I understand millenniums mostly voted forHillary. I posted her concession speec in FB and two of my friends tells me they send it to their daughters in college. One said her daughter senior in HS was in tears.
            Someone said from Europe in another place , Hillary Clinton is coverd in scar tissues for decades of personal insults and took them all and another layer was added now..

            Liked by 1 person

            • Yes, a large percentage of millennials (including many Bernie supporters) voted for Clinton. If those millennials keep their current politics as they grow older, it could lead to better people getting elected than Trump and various other reactionary Republicans.

              And Clinton’s concession speech was indeed very gracious — much more so than Donald Trump’s would’ve been; heck, he probably would’ve contested the results. (What Clinton — like anyone in that situation — was thinking internally is another matter.) She does have thick skin and a LOT of scars after being attacked and treated with virulent sexism over the years. I wonder if the way she has been treated for decades as an ambitious woman and ambitious politician is one reason why she became such a hawk on foreign policy — wanting to show she can be as “tough” as any crummy male politician.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Dave the folks I was talking about were all Clinton supporters. Bernie Sanders shall prevail, he will continue to fight for his cause. The best thing the very smart man did was to support Hillary Clinton all the way. If Bernie had won I beg to disagree with you there, he will be attacked by Trump and his cronies from the get go, about his spending his honeymoon to Russia, to his book in young age on writing porn on rape fantasy to anything you name it. He would not have the money that Hillary had raised to fight back. If he was a Democrat perhaps he would.
                Please don`t get me wrong I like him a lot and wish Hillary had chosen him as her running mate.
                Together they would have broken that glass ceiling.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Thank you, bebe!

                  I can certainly understand Sanders supporting Clinton; he did run as a Democrat in the primaries despite being an Independent (while usually “caucusing” in Congress with the Democrats). I hope he runs again in 2020, though his age might make that iffy.

                  I hear you that Trump and the GOP might have savaged Sanders if had been the Democratic nominee. And that red-baiting would have worked in past years. But I think things were different enough this year — with so much economic inequality — that those attacks might not have resonated enough for Trump to beat Sanders. Heck, a $15 minimum wage, free public college, etc., had to have been appealing to at least some of the white working class that went for Trump. Plus Sanders’ loyal following would have kept making tons of small donations, and I assume the DNC would have (reluctantly) backed Sanders with money just like the RNC (not so reluctantly) backed Trump.

                  But this is all guesswork on my part. 🙂

                  Liked by 1 person

  5. I have a title for the memoir that we know Donald Trump will write after this is all over. Actually, it will be “ghost-written”: ‘Fifty Shades of Great’ (this may be a title someone else has already created; if so, I picked it up out of the ether).

    In true Donald fashion, the Trump will pay his ghost writer only one third of the original offer he made for the job.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Just back from an election party, and things were not looking good. 😦

      “Fifty Shades of Great” — VERY clever, bobess48. And if Trump only stiffs the ghostwriter two-thirds of the pay, that would be “generous” by his pathetic standards.


  6. Dave, I apologise in advance for the vagueness of my comment. I’m going to talk about Jeffrey Archer who I haven’t read for many, many years, however he was the first author that I thought of. “Kane and Abel” weren’t exactly a power ‘couple’ as they were actually enemies, however they were both powerful, and I remember them having an entertaining relationship, even if it wasn’t friendly. In the follow up novel “The Prodigal Daughter” the children of Kane and Abel find themselves in a romantic relationship. Again, both powerful people, but in very different ways. And if I recall correctly, the daughter goes on to be POTUS, which is probably why I thought of it 🙂

    The upcoming election has brought out the indecisive Libran in me. On the one hand, I can’t wait for it to all be over. But on the other, I’m dreading how badly it might go. And while I know that Obama can only serve two terms, and you explained on a previous thread why that’s the case, I still don’t get it. People seem to like him, and if they want to keep voting for him, why shouldn’t they? Especially if there are no better options. Clinton is definitely my favourite out of the two current candidates, but I still don’t think she’s a great choice. Though it is nice to see both bebe and Kat Lib so excited about the first female POTUS. I don’t know, I’m a long way away, and this is actually the first election I’ve ever followed, so what do I know? Maybe Hillary will be the best thing to happen, not just to America, but to the world.

    Oh, and bebe, I meant to say on my previous post that you calling me adorable is the highlight of my week 🙂 I hope you feel better soon ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • From a fellow Libran to another I meant every word I said about you Susan always enjoy your smart and humorous comments .
      I am not okay yet it is a test on my patience but today is the voting in America it might go in the direction of Madame Hillary ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Susan! I’ve never read Jeffrey Archer, but nice to know his work included some “power couples.” Well described!

      I don’t know the reasons behind why it’s no longer allowed for presidents to serve more than two terms, but I wonder if conservative Republicans back then didn’t want another popular Democrat (a la Franklin Roosevelt) to serve longer again. And I suppose there were the usual concerns about an endless presidency having the potential to almost become a dictatorship.

      As for Obama, it would be nice in a way if he continued in the White House (though I didn’t like the less-progressive aspects of his partly progressive terms). But I imagine he’s pretty exhausted by now after eight years of obstruction and vicious attacks from Republicans.

      I have mixed feelings about Hillary (as I’ve said), and her foreign policy positions tend to be more conservative and militaristic than many Democrats, yet…Trump is beyond the pale.


    • Susan, As much as the Obamas have been vilified by those on the right, as well as many on the left, if he were able to run for a third term, he’d most likely win. I do agree with Dave that it does go back to FDR, whose winning four elections poses somewhat of a problem for me, but I’ll leave that for another time. I do think there will be a lot of Americans who will miss Obama, his speaking ability, comedic timing, not to mention the very good things he has done for our economy, foreign policy (normalizing relations with Cuba, the Iran nuclear deal, gay rights, etc.), but mostly we’ll miss him as a decent, caring man, husband and father, who hasn’t been involved in any scandals, and we’ll miss Michelle Obama probably most of all and her two lovely daughters.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Eloquently said, Kat Lib. Some of Obama’s policies HAVE been excellent, and he does seem like a very good/ethical person and family man, with an excellent sense of humor to boot (as you note). I agree that he’d most likely win a third term, if allowed.

        My issues with him included being too cordial with Wall Street, his drone policy that has unfortunately killed many innocent civilians, his cracking down too hard on Edward Snowden (who I thought did our country a service by exposing U.S. government spying excesses), continuing to cozy up to Egypt after the coup there overthrew a democratically elected government, etc. But I realize any American president is not allowed to be THAT progressive. Overall, I view Obama’s two terms as more positive than negative, especially given the aforementioned obstruction and hate he faced.


  7. My last pitch thank you Dave for your generosity and kindness for allowing us to speak up !!!

    VOTE for your life and health !

    Think carefully, diligently and remember this is not a Country of Whites or Blacks, it is a Country of all races and religions that we feel proud to call the melting pot of the World.
    Don`t allow anyone to say other wise.

    Discard Trump and all the supremacists who are coming out of the woodwork to scare us, send them back to where they belong.

    Tell them we are not scared anymore .

    Send the butternut squash-tanned barbarian to his own pasture.

    VOTE for Madame Hillary Clinton who is right for America.

    Hillary Clinton for President 2016 !

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, bebe! Very eloquent. I especially like your point that America is a “melting pot” nation — something Trump sickeningly disdains and can’t accept.

      While I’m voting for Jill Stein (Clinton leads Trump 51%-40% in NJ, so we’re not a swing state that could go to The Donald), I certainly hope and expect the flawed Hillary will beat the beyond-flawed Trump.

      Liked by 1 person

      • bebe and Dave, I’m absolutely devastated by the election result and can’t believe that there will actually be a President Trump. Bill and I opened the bottle of wine we bought for Election Day, and it’s almost gone (thanks mainly to me, not Bill). It’s raining here in Philly today, which perfectly matches my mood. What’s worse is that no one I voted for yesterday won their race (all Dems). It appears that for at least the next four years, the Republicans will be absolutely in control of all three branches of our federal government, along with most state houses and I assume governorships (though I’m not sure — at least PA has a Dem governor and Philly has a Dem mayor). For not the first time, I’m happy I never had children or grandchildren, because the future looks bleak at the moment. Ireland is looking better and better all the time. Bill’s Irish and visited there many times and loves it, and I’m sure I will too. Ha! If not, I’m going to continue on my mission to raise chickens and have both a vegetable and herb garden, because who knows what havoc Trump will cause for all of us, especially seniors like myself.

        bebe, feeling any better? I hope so, please keep us informed, OK?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Devastated is the exact word, Kat Lib. So disheartening. Trump as president, plus the Republicans controlling both houses of Congress, and many states — partly thanks to voter suppression, gerrymandering, and other shenanigans, of course. Plus the GOP’s despicable refusal to vote on a Supreme Court justice has paid off big time for them. I hope the Democrats, in revenge, filibuster any justice who Trump nominates, but they’ll probably wimp out.

          Raining here, too — indeed matching the mood of so many people.


  8. Great list.
    I was thinking real life power couples when I started reading. Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt were the first to pop into my mind. The Wilson’s were another. Prior to and after that most first ladies attended to or shirked their hostessing duties, until the Kennedy administration when Jacqueline became a de facto ambassador. She set the tone for future White House couples. Pending the outcome of tomorrow’s election we MAY see how the duties of First Husband evolve. I’m anticipating that Bill would play a large diplomacy/advisory role.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, energywriter! Well said.

      Eleanor Roosevelt and FDR were definitely both VERY prominent. Eleanor did all that human-rights work, a syndicated daily column, and more, while also traveling endlessly on behalf of FDR and his policies. She had quite a career after he died, too, with her work on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, continuing her column, etc.

      And, yes, Edith Wilson was sort of acting president after Woodrow Wilson suffered a stroke.

      If Hillary is elected, it will indeed be interesting to see what the talented but periodically ethics-challenged Bill does as “First Gentleman.”


      • The problem I see with Eleanor and FDR is that if Wikipedia and other sites are to be believed, FDR had a series of affairs, one mistress was even Eleanor’s personal secretary. Not that I care about that at all, but given how Hillary has been treated as being an “enabler” it seems ludicrous how upset some women were when she stuck with Bill (even though many of these same women were part of the “Evangelical Christian Right,” who supposedly believe in the sanctity of marriage.”

        Liked by 1 person

        • You’re right, Kat Lib, that Hillary did what most conservative Christian evangelists would recommend — “stand by your man” — but got no props for it from right-wingers.

          FDR did stray, and it had to have been miserable for Eleanor Roosevelt — who, overall, was much more admirable than the partly admirable FDR.

          So many powerful male politicians have extramarital affairs — Trump (now a politician), Bill Clinton, Gingrich, Giuliani, JFK, Eisenhower, etc., etc. — that it’s amazing to think that Obama seems to be one of the few exceptions.


    • Thank you, Almost Iowa! I had to look up that couple, but they do seem to have been quite prominent in the 6th century. Which reminds me that Ferdinand and Isabella were also a power couple (for better and mostly for worse) in the 15th century.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Hi Dave, I may have additional thoughts later, but I honestly can’t think of any “power couple” either in literature or in real life more so than the Clintons. There have been admirable first ladies, but none who have been more in the limelight than Hillary as a Wellesley graduate, Yale educated lawyer, advocate for children and families, 1st lady of Arkansas, 1st lady of the US, US senator, Secretary of State and a candidate twice for the presidency of the US, not to mention her work in the Clinton Foundation. It’s difficult to imagine what it’s been like for women of her (and my) generation. Women didn’t get the vote here or in Britain until the early 1900’s, and even women in the 1950’s and 60’s were unable to take out a credit card in their name without their husband’s approval. I remember what it was like to have trouble getting a car loan in the early 70’s until I accused the bank of discrimination. I also had a male co-worker call me “baby cakes,” but handled it on my own, thanks to the feminist movement, of which Hillary was a role model. I know you don’t care much for her, but she’s definitely someone I’ve looked up to for years, even if she’s not perfect (though who among us is?).

    I feel a bit more hopeful tonight after reading that FBI director Comey has sent another to Congress saying that the newly discovered emails he informed Congress of last week, now don’t mean any charges against Clinton and she is “clear.” However, a lot of people probably already made up their minds and have voted early, so who knows?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Kat Lib!

      I also had a hard time thinking of fictional power couples, and most of the ones I came up with aren’t nearly as prominent as Hillary and Bill are in real life. Heck, in two days the Clintons will probably both have “U.S. president” on their résumés. In real life, maybe FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt came closest.

      Hillary does have a very wide-ranging background, and, as you say, she started her career at a time when it was much more difficult for women to have prominent careers — fewer opportunities, rampant sexism (you gave excellent examples), etc.

      Comey’s follow-up action today will definitely help Clinton somewhat, but a lot of damage was done since his announcement nine days ago. And, as you say, many people have voted already. I’m voting the “old school” way by going to the polls Tuesday, when I’ll cast my ballot at an old school. 🙂 (One of my town’s middle schools, which was built around a century ago.)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Pennsylvania is one of the states where there isn’t early voting; in fact. I think my sister, who has been working the polls for years, said they don’t even count absentee ballots until election day. This will be a very long day for her. The polls opened at 7:00 am and polls close at 8:00 pm. She had to be there at 6:15 this morning, and she’ll be one of the two last people to leave tonight, as she and he are the ones to certify the vote tallies are correct before a judge signs off on the count.

        I know you saw my comment to bebe, where I talked about having voted for Hillary today. My polling place was very close to my home, I found a place to park in front of the church, waited one minute to go sign the register and get my ballot, sat at a table for a minute to mark my ballot, and another to have a worker there put it into the machine. The entire process including driving took at most 15 minutes. My former polling place was just the same, and it always makes me feel guilty when I see on the news all those brave souls waiting in line for hours to cast their vote. I’m going to be on tenterhooks all day waiting for the results, but I know one really shouldn’t want time to speed up, especially as one gets older.

        My friend Bill and I were at the Wine & Spirits store the other day, stocking up. There was a wine tasting going on and I tried the Chardonnay and bought a bottle of it, which I told her was for election day, and she said, I think we’re all going to need it! Bill had things to do where one of his kids lives, like vote, so he told me to save the bottle for tomorrow to either celebrate Hillary’s win, or if Trump wins, our impending move to Ireland. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Definitely a long day for your sister, Kat Lib. And a shame there isn’t early voting in Pennsylvania.

          Glad your voting experience wasn’t long! Mine wasn’t, either. There was a very long line for one part of my district (maybe 30-40 people) but my part of the district had no line for some reason in the same school gym. I was in and out in about five minutes. Yes, some people have to wait on VERY long lines.

          I let my younger daughter push the buttons for me — Jill Stein for president and a Democrat for Congress who’s opposing a Republican (Rodney Frelinghuysen) who supports Trump. 😦 Unfortunately, Frelinghuysen will probably be reelected because most of his district (unlike my town) is GOP.

          Tonight, I’ll be at an election party at a friend’s house; maybe a couple Stein supporters there and the rest Hillary voters.

          I don’t think you’ll have to move to Ireland, but it’s always good to have an escape plan! 🙂


    • Agree with you Kat Lib I’ve always been a supporter of Hillary Clinton she has been vilified all her life that no one should have to go through.
      Saying that America being a powerful nation always reluctant to choose a woman to be the leader. Israel, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Philippines, Pakistan have been ahead of time also Germany to name a few.
      She was criticized for her pantsuit, hair, bathroom breaks and whatnot.

      About time this nonsense needs to stop.

      Liked by 2 people

      • bebe, I agree with you and see an anti-feminism bias still rampant in this country, so I’m hoping to see our first female POTUS elected on Tuesday. She certainly has been put through more than any male candidate ever.
        I was going to give advice about treatment for respiratory problems, but I decided that wasn’t called for. I just hope you get over what you have ASAP!

        Liked by 3 people

        • Kat Lib any advice is so welcome. Doc said acute bronchitis, drink up. This is the ninth day without able to speak. My husband brought it home then stayed home for two days and i know i will be the next. Someone I know is a resident at Vanderbilt tells me rest your voice and voice comes back last. No respiratory problem never a smoker. Just hacking cough which is a bit less now.
          Still waiting and waiting…my life is on hold cancelling all appointments. Waiting….

          Liked by 1 person

          • bebe, I just saw your reply to me about acute bronchitis. I’ve had chronic asthmatic bronchitis and a chronic cough for almost 30 years. I used to call it “my cross to bear,” because I would almost always start wheezing and have shortness of breath, scaring everyone, including myself. I’ve been on and off inhalers, nasal sprays, asthma/allergy medications, cough medicines, etc. more often than not and occasionally end up in the hospital. Usually the only thing that would help me get over the acute stage was a corticosteroid (Prednisone). The main problem with steroids is that it has terrible side effects, especially if you are on them long-term. The least damaging ones are trouble sleeping and increased appetite. The worst for me have been crazy moods, cataract surgery in my 50’s, and osteoporosis/osteopenia (which has I’m sure why I’ve had four fractures in the last six years). One of the more natural ways my doctor suggested was breathing in the steam from a hot shower and drinking fluids, which I think you’ve been doing. I’m not playing doctor here, but maybe you could discuss some of this with him/her. Just try not to get discouraged, because it can take a while to get over bronchitis and the cough can linger for awhile.

            Anyway, I just got back casting my vote for Hillary — it was such a thrill to do so! I read on HP that some women were wearing white to the polls, in honor of the women suffragettes. It’s also been heartwarming to read of the few over 100 year old women who were born when women didn’t have the right to vote and were able to vote for a woman.

            Feel better soon!!

            Liked by 2 people

            • Kat Lib this means a lot to me, thanks for taking time to talk to me. This is so new to me , never ever have happened to me. Today 10th day going still lost my voice. short time steroid pills did not help at all and as you say had sleeping problem. Yes I am drinking, drinking…feels like my life is at limbo.
              I could be unreasonable and mad at my husband for bring all these home if that helps but it does not.

              I have done early voting. Just went to our precinct to see how it was. Trump town it is so no disturbance because there was no one to block from voting. I saw two gentleman with Hill sign so I stopped my car to ask. Of course they say it is going well .

              So let`s keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best.

              Breathe in, breathe out 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

  10. The first ‘power couple’ that came to mind, possibly because of our current atmosphere of political manipulation, is Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. He feels his rise to power has been prophesied and Lady either agrees sincerely with him or just knows how to massage her man’s ego, probably with a bit of opportunism thrown in. It’s harder to know exactly what makes her tick and, to be honest, I don’t really recollect what does make her tick unless she feels that with her husband in power she’ll too reap the benefits of that. Perhaps she’s sexually aroused by power, could that be it? Anyway, they were quite a team until they weren’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good one, Brian! I don’t always think of plays when writing my blog posts, but “Macbeth” is definitely relevant here. And your analysis is interesting.

      I haven’t read “Macbeth” since high school, so I remember little. But that play’s “fair is foul” witches, if I’m recalling their number correctly (three?), are a “power trio.” Not exactly Rush or Cream, but…

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you Dave I am on pins and needles to a point holding my breath and I am sure most of your readers / admirers would agree with me .
    I have said it elsewhere Hillary Clinton is the person under the public eye for more than thirty years, trampled to the ground so many time yet Hillary Clinton rises up again to be even more stronger than ever.

    This Country a pluralistic Country the most powerful Nation in the World was built by immigrants to be the the melting pot of so many colors and religion.
    Let`s keep our legacy stronger as we move on and not allowed Donald Trump to stampede all over us to make it a Nation of privileged ones only.

    Please vote carefully, remember that Donald Trump is a thin skinned racist bully who is only for himself and revenge is his only motto.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, bebe! The election IS nerve-wracking.

      While Hillary Clinton has major faults (you know my mixed feelings about her), one of those faults is NOT her resilience. It’s impressive.

      You’re so right that the U.S. is a nation of immigrants, and much better for it. My four grandparents all came from Eastern Europe, and they and immigrants (and descendants of immigrants) from Asia, Africa, Latin America, Australia, Canada, and elsewhere are a real strength of America. One of the many major problems with Donald Trump is that he seemingly has no problem with white immigrants (such as his wife) but a big problem with immigrants of color and Muslim immigrants. Racist, racist, racist…

      Liked by 1 person

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