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If the New York Times figures it’s worth having Bill Kristol to have angry blog commenters kick around, then it only makes sense for the Washington Times to publish an Obama supporter every once in a while. Last week marked the debut of a column by country singer-songwriter (and former local) Mary Chapin Carpenter, who scored a big hit with a cover of Lucinda Williams‘ “Passionate Kisses,” and an even bigger hit with “He Thinks He’ll Keep Her”—-a song that she co-wrote but sure sounds a heck of a lot like her cover of Lucinda Williams’ “Passionate Kisses.” In a press release announcing Carpenter’s new gig, WaTi’s Daniel Wattenberg said, “A column may be a new medium for Mary Chapin, but her voice — intimate, reflective and companionable — will be comfortingly familiar. Our readers are in for a treat.”
What readers got the first time around was a polite, unprovocative column about what it was like to watch TV during the election season, with a big plug for the band Hem. Any button-pushing was reserved for a bit toward the end: “”It brings me directly to what Barack Obama said at his Democratic Convention acceptance speech in Denver. We are our brother’s keeper, our sister’s keeper. We have a responsibility to watch out for one another, to do the right thing. Our better selves will seek out these opportunities because our present circumstances demand it.”
Pretty safe. But Carpenter’s column would still have to get a lot worse to compete with Stephen King’s ruminations on pop culture.