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ArrowBig Baby Brown
Buffalo Mayor Tramples BEAST Publisher

ArrowThe Vilsack Buzz
As the nation looks to ‘08, excitement is high
Matt Taibbi

ArrowCut -N- Fun!
2 dimensional fathers better parents, say experts

Rich Herschlag

ArrowDialing for Santorum
My last-ditch heroic effort to save the GOP’s holiest hatchet man
Matt Taibbi

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Buffalo Rising Magazine

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The Vilsack Buzz
As the nation looks to ‘08, excitement is high
Matt Taibbi

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Union Station, late Sunday evening. Arriving in town after a long train ride to do a post-election follow-up, I ducked into the men's room to wash my face before hailing a cab. As I propped my roller luggage against the tile wall and flicked on the faucet, I heard a voice -- to my surprise, since I'd thought the bathroom was empty.

"Hey," it said. "Hey, excuse me. I'm sorry. I know how this sounds, but do you have six dollars?"

I turned the faucet off and turned around. A dumpy-looking white man in a wrinkled pinstripe suit was standing with his hands clasped together outside the corner stall. His temples were moist and he had a lilac-colored tie with white flecks and a large coffee stain running down the middle yanked loose around his unbuttoned collar. Looking closer, I saw that there was a pile of newspapers and brown bathroom paper towels arranged on the stall floor; Mr. Pinstripe had made a bed for the night.

"Six dollars?" I asked.

"Yes," he said. "You see, my cousin was supposed to come with my train fare, but he didn't show up, and . . . well, I need to get to Trenton, and I'm six dollars short. If you give me your address, I can pay you --"

"What's your cousin's name?" I asked.

"My cousin?" he said. "Well, his name is, uh . . . his name is George. It's George. George Anderson."

"George Anderson, huh?" I said. "And what's your name?"

The man sighed. "Okay, buddy, look," he said. "I don't have a cousin. I just need some money. Can you give me six dollars or can't you?"

I frowned. "Wait a minute. Don't I know you from somewhere?"

"Oh, God," the man in the suit said, shaking his head. "Yes, you might have seen me before."

"Hey, yeah," I said, snapping my fingers. "I saw you in USA Today, right?"

"Okay, you got me," he said. "I'm Tom Vilsack's buzz."

"Tom Vilsack? The governor of Iowa?"

"Right."

"But you can't be Tom Vilsack," I said. "Tom Vilsack has no lips and a saggy neck and he looks like a roadie for a Lawrence Welk tribute band. But you're bald, for one thing, and --"

"No, no, you don't understand," the man snapped. "I'm not Tom Vilsack. I'm Tom Vilsack's buzz."

The bathroom was silent for a moment except for the dripping of the faucet.

"Impossible," I said finally. "Tom Vilsack has a buzz already? A 2008 buzz?"

"No, it's possible, believe me," the man said. "I'm him."

"But the midterm elections only ended like ten minutes ago!" I said. "Nobody can possibly have a buzz yet!"

"You couldn't be more wrong," he said, pulling out a wrinkled magazine from somewhere under his suit jacket. "Check out this week's Time. Here. Read the underlined section."

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