Waiting for Bill

Who waits in line at the Clinton book signing in midtown Manhattan? Salon answers the question. (Free day pass, blah blah blah.) By far, the best person profiled is the precocious 10-year-old who came all the way from Westport, Conn.:

And then there was Matt Lloyd-Thomas, who said he was 13, though he was really 10, because the lady at the door had said that the age limit for kids to get signatures was 12. His younger sister, Sophia, who was really 7 and a half, was posing as 12.
"We've just been passing the time, reading," said Lloyd-Thomas, whose skin was brown with suntan and a couple of freckles. "My sister's been bugging me the past few hours. Once the rain started there wasn't much we could do because it was really quite wet and you couldn't sit down." They'd had to wake up at 4, which Matt admitted was hard. But the whole trip had been his idea. "I was listening to NPR one afternoon and they said that President Clinton would be signing books in midtown Manhattan, so I said that's pretty close, why don't we go in?" So Matt, Sophia and their mother, Beth -- all from Westport, Conn. -- came to New York last night and stayed at an uncle's place. "I think it's pretty cool to have a book signed by a former president," said Matt of his reason for marshaling his family into action. But then, Matt is also a kid who a year ago persuaded his whole third-grade class -- some of them Republicans -- to send letters to President Bush asking him not to send troops into Iraq. His mother said that lately he's taken to giving PowerPoint presentations on the benefits of voting for Kerry over Bush. "You know, his father and I are both Democrats but not that involved," she said, shaking her head slightly. "Matt is very much his own thinker." What did he think of the president he was about to meet -- a man who was first elected before he was even born? "Well," began Matt thoughtfully, "not in his personal decisions but politically, I think Clinton was a very good president, especially since he was interested in what was going on in this country more than in foreign affairs." But what about those pesky personal decisions? "Well, I was only 6 at the time, and I didn't really enjoy politics," he said. "But I think that lying about a personal affair is one thing. Lying about weapons of mass destruction or lying about connections between Iraq and al-Qaida -- which affects a lot more people -- is a lot worse." "My sister thinks I'm a news junkie," confided Matt, who said he skims the Times but mostly relies on NPR's "Morning Edition" for his news. Sophia, in a Nantucket lifeguarding sweatshirt and looking very, very, very bored, nodded silently. "We're going to the American Girl Cafe after this," said their mother. "So that they both get something they like out of this trip."
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