My old neighbor down the hall at 3801 Connecticut Avenue, Jeff Lieberson, has married Senator Russell Feingold's daughter, Jessica Feingold! Wow!
I don't think I'll ever get married. I am not a social creature. Regardless of any affinity I have for Bob Strauss, I am not a social animal like Strauss.
Like Strauss, I am (at least in fantasy) a man of enormous talent and drive. Unlike Strauss, I never developed a gift for making and keeping friends, which requires effort, hard work and talent. My relationship with my parents was good enough, I suppose; with my sister more or less satisfactory; with women -- well, let me put it this way -- I never found a babe who'd fetch me the late-night edition of the local newspaper; with my coworkers I was cold and aloof and, in the end, bad enough to do me in, not good enough to make me into a world figure like Strauss.
With Strauss people always knew who he was. He played no roles, only himself. With me, one never knew. My neighbor, press secretary Jeff Lieberson, said of me that I "can don a personality by opening a door -- a door with or without a mezuzah." With my Republican acquaintances I can be the concerned conservative striving for free markets and more personal liberty; with my Jewish acquaintances I am a supporter of the arts; with Rubenstein I played "the laughed-at mama's boy," Woodrow Wilson, brooding over how NOT to throw like a girl; with Sid Rothstein I played Strauss -- literally; with former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft I was a freakish nut case -- the author of bizarre and obnoxious letters; with my old friend Craig the Embalmer I play Harry Truman, just hoping for a chance for an invite to 4701 Connecticut Avenue.
I think it was Lieberson who said, "When he didn't want to be anybody but himself, he sent for General Bonaparte."
It is a mark of how many different Freedman personas there are that when the transcripts of the Freedman Diaries were made public, many men who had had intimate contact with me over long periods of time -- Jeff Lieberson; writer Steve Hess at The Brookings Institution; Republican insider Andy Gerst, and others -- were shocked. They had never heard me talk like that. In fact, Andrew Gerst never heard me talk. Period.