One night I gave a talk at a Jewish delicatessen in West Palm Beach. Howard had taken his cooler of sprout salads, but when the buffet opened up, he led the charge, elbowing past Florida’s aggressive early birds to load his plate with pastrami, corned beef, coleslaw, pickles and potato salad. I managed to snap a photograph of him tearing into a sandwich, but I wish I’d recorded the sigh of pleasure that followed it.
I DON’T WANT to write this. Not here. Not now. Here is in seat 2K, a business-class spot, wide and supportive, the sort I rarely get to enjoy. It’s by the window, looking down on Lake Erie’s greenish-blue calm 28,000 feet below, as this Air Canada Boeing 767 plies its leisurely path from Toronto (where I live) to Orlando (where I’m speaking at a conference).
If you lived in Toronto during the four years of Rob Ford’s term as mayor, the seesaw of Donald Trump’s first months as President would feel strikingly familiar. Ford, who died just over a year ago, from cancer, lied constantly and consistently and railed against the media and liberal élites. As one scandal led to another, he surrounded himself with cronies and family loyalists and, when truly tested, fell back on the flag-waving rallies that fired up his base.