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B Y M A U R E E N P I L K I N G T O N STUCK IN AN ELEVATOR AT THE WALDORF WITH SIXTEEN REPUBLICANS

IT IS STRANGE to have my husband to my left since we rarely sit next to each other at these things and now I’m leaning over him talking to the woman on his left who, I learn, is a chef from Greenwich. Or did she say deaf? I am now certain that is what she said because she is continually smiling and thin. I talk right through journalist Judith Miller intro- ducing General Petraeus up on the stage as if I’m the one that can’t hear and surmise that the chef must be bottom heavy. The beurre has to be some- where. Miller is firing questions at the four-star general. I quickly realize the chef is not deaf but we put our thumbs up anyway in sign that translates to we are the only Democrats at the table and perhaps in the whole room. There is a small pile of white cards with mini pencils next to our table’s centerpiece for ques- tions any one of us might have for General Petraeus. But it seems to me Miller has brought her own set of questions, and I wonder how she has time to choose one of ours. Where is Holly Petraeus? I scan the tables and stop at a man in a white suit. He styles his hair in what my father would

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