Brian Bailey Preface to the Revised Edition

Sunday with the Times

The New York Times recently redesigned and I absolutely love it. The look is far more elegant and inviting. I find myself wanting to read things that I would have skimmed in the past. The mark of a good design is that you want to spend more time with it. I have to say, though, that if you aren't reading it on a Mac, you would be amazed at just how good it can look.

Today, there are two great articles worth reading. Condoleezza Rice on Piano is a wonderful story about the Secretary of State's chamber music group that regularly meets and plays in her Watergate apartment. Rice is a classically trained pianist. Her diversity of knowledge and skills is inspiring for someone in public life.

Ben is actually playing Beethoven's For Elise as I write this. He is now in his third year of piano lessons, and though his progress has been amazing, like any 10-year old, it's not his favorite thing. I want to share this story with him so he can see what the ability to make music can be mean in your life.

And yes, I am old enough to remember the famous "Is it live, or is it Memorex?" commercial, which makes this moment even more wonderful.

The second article is a more traditional one, but the type I love: McCain Emphasizing His Conservative Bona Fides. There can be no doubt that McCain is running in 2008, which should make things very entertaining. I was an enthusiastic McCain supporter in 2000.

As long as you're reading about McCain and Rice, here's an interesting game to play. What Democratic ticket would be the best match for a McCain/Rice combination in 2008? I expect both 2006 and 2008 to be heavily Democratic elections, but this pairing presents a number of unique advantages - conservative enough to keep the Republican base enthusiastic, but diverse in thought as well as (obviously) gender and race to attract independent voters.

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