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Beauty and the Blog: Rolling Stone's 2006 Feature on Arianna Huffington

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A few days after the book signing — it went very well, by the way: They love her in Palm Springs Huffington is at CBS studios in L.A., to appear on tribe member Maher's HBO show Real Time. She's dressed in black, very sleek. Former Environmental Protection Agency chief Christine Todd Whitman is there, too, with her curly blond suburban hair and cheap-looking too-blue jacket. Hotsie-tot-sie-wise, she can't hold a candle to Huffing-ton, but who can? Then Huffington is on the air, Maher gladly allowing her a few moments to puff herbook. From there, it's on to politics, with another discussion of fear.

"You know what?" Huffington starts off. "A great leader is there to inspire fearlessness to the public. I mean, look at FDR. That phrase of his that has become a cliche. — The only thing we have to fear is fear it self- is actually incredibly profound. I mean, we dealt with the Great Depression. We dealt with the Second World War. But he spread fearlessness. The opposite of what this administration and this president have done. Fear-mongering all the way."

Applause.

"But they would not have succeeded," she goes on. "had it not been for the fear gripping the other side, the spineless Democratic leaders who are willing to go along with the fear-mongering."

Maher interrupts. "Don't you think what Republicans really fear, and I hate to generalize, is sex? I mean, you knew about closeted gay Republicans before it was cool."

Laughter from the audience. Laughter from Huffington.

"I don't think Republicans fear sex." she continues, absolutely unfazed. "I think they fear losing power. They're going to use sex and race and everything in order to cling to power. That's their worst fear."

Afterward, she jumps in a limo headed for LAX and the Delta red-eye to Tampa for a book signing in St. Petersburg. She gets out her ticket and her driver's license and stuffs them into her bra. "So I don't have to look for them later," she explains. Then she's silent for a while.

Right now. she's between boyfriends. Amid her Web site and her book tour and her kids, she hardly has time for them. And even when she does, ever since her marriage ended, they've tended to last only six or seven months. It's all great in the beginning. "I am a very good listener, and when I'm in love, I have an infinite capacity to be engaged with everything about the man, however insignificant," she says. Plus, she definitely enjoys sleeping with another person "in the spoon position, yes. I'm incredibly tactile." But then comes the day, usually just when things seem to be going swimmingly well, often right in the middle of the discovery part of the fling, the thrill zone, when she suddenly realizes that she's sleep-deprived and walking around like a zombie. And she doesn't like walking around like a zombie. "So. I've gotten to be a good breaker-upper," she says, nearing the airport. "I mean, I believe there's no point in delaying the inevitable. I'm very nice and want to be friends, and what I think is, it's easier to be friends if you kind of end the relationship on a high note, when things are still good, as opposed to when things are on the way down."

Well, at least she's up front about it. Those men in her life, like so many things, are just a few more sparrows flying by.

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