The Last to Know

I am sure I am the last to know.

I just caught the news that President-elect Obama has named what some are calling a most impressive list of folks to fill key posts at the Department of Justice. Elena Kagan, Dean of Harvard Law School, will be Solicitor General. Tom Perrelli will be Associate Attorney General, and Dawn Johnsen will be Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel.


They are all impeccably credentialed.  I know this because I went hunting for their bios, which I do reflexively. And at I found what I was really looking for. Their ages.

They are all younger than I am.

This would not shock those who could see me now, nursing bottled water in my cavernous newsroom because I've got some nasty flu-like something. If I look like I feel, I look to be somewhere in the springtime of my senescence.

But why should their youth be a surprise to me? The president-elect is younger than I am.

I first started playing this game when I'd look at the birthdates of baseball players, and until recently figured I was in the ballpark agewise, meaning I still had a chance of making the majors, technically, even if I could never hit a fastball. Actually I could barely hold my ground against a fastball. I know, I am pathetic. But this is how I think.

The only bit of good news in the Obama release is the appointment of David Ogden as Deputy Attorney General. He's got a beautiful resume -- partner at Hale and Dorr, former chief of staff to Janet Reno, clerk to Justice Harry A. Blackmun after studying English lit at Penn, then law at Harvard. And the best part: he looks to be two years older than I am. I could still catch him in my dreams.