After surviving for months off the scraps of Kim Crow, fans of The Plain Dealer's
Arts and Life section will finally get to feast on the words of Connie Schultz come January, when the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist plans on returning to work. The question is whether they'll be feasting on the same Connie Schultz as they used to.
Schultz has been on leave while her husband, Sherrod Brown, ran for U.S. Senate. She wants to wait to return until he's sworn in January, so the election is completely behind her. "I'd like to make it a little less of a production," she tells Punch. She also has to finish her book on the campaign, And his lovely wife, which she's been submitting in pieces and will be published by Random House in June.
When she returns, Schultz will no doubt become a favorite target of her hubby's conservative foes, who will somehow turn columns about shopping with her daughter into secret efforts to squash globalism. "It's a very tough line to walk between being just a journalist and being politicized," says PD editor Doug Clifton.
Clifton says Schultz will be given plenty of rope to lasso favorite topics like workers' rights and family — with one notable exception. "She'll have to be above reproach on matters concerning her husband," he says. "For my money, it would be best that she never even mention that she had a husband. If I were looking for an ideal situation I'd want a reader a year from now to be shocked and amazed that she was married to a U.S. Senator." — Joe P. Tone