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Grief as reinvention: Jackie and ‘Jackie’

"Behind every great man is a great woman”:  It’s an adage that’s been brought home to in our postfeminist age. Witness the apotheosis of Michelle Obama on the cover of the current Vogue and the new “Jackie,” with Natalie Portman transcendent as the tragic former first lady.

Indeed, her Jacqueline B. Kennedy and Jackie herself are better than director Pablo Larrain’s “Jackie.” For one thing, the movie’s music, no doubt intended to strike a discordant note, is merely jarring. It underscores other false notes. Why is the boy who plays John F. Kennedy Jr. a blond? And why does Peter Sarsgaard’s Robert F. Kennedy fail to speak with his distinctive broad Boston cadence, particularly when Portman’s Jackie speaks in her signature breathy New Yorkese? And why do we see her not once but twice in a red gown when she mainly favored white and pastel formal wear?

Perhaps this is quibbling. What “Jackie” and Portman’s Jackie do very well is locate her grief and then show us how she cycles through it, reinventing her husband, his presidency – and, thus, herself – in what remains in some ways a pyrrhic victory. ...

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To have – and have not:Wall Street in Trumpland

Among President-elect Donald J. Trump’s new best friends is Wall Street. Trump has chosen Goldman Sachsers Steven Mnuchin for secretary of Treasury and Wilbur Ross for Commerce. Remember when Trump was the flip side of Bernie Sanders’ “Wall Street bad” mantra. Uh-huh.

Now some libs are gleeful at what they see as Trumpet’s betrayal of the Rust Belters. But having shared the desperation of the jobless, I find schadenfreude to be a useless emotion.

Besides, are we really surprised? The rich gravitate to the rich the way the beautiful marry the handsome, PhDs congregate and healthy people avoid the sick. (Because they might be contagious, don’t you know.)

Anyhoo, I’m not among those who are too excised – that means you, Sen. Elizabeth Warren – about Wall Streeters in the cabinet. Presidents always appoint people from the Street, because, let’s face it, very few commanders in chiefknow anything about money. That’s why George Washington tapped Alexander Hamilton for first secretary of the Treasury. You need the guy – or gal – who knows, as Hamilton did, that “Power without revenue is a mere bauble.” ...

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Trump and Romney: A marriage made in…well, wherever

It was my favorite British prime minister, Benjamin Disraeli, who said that “there are no permanent friends or permanent enemies, only permanent interests.”

And that brings us to Donald Trump’s date with Mitt Romney at Jean-Georges, chaperoned by Reince Priebus.

Mittens is up for secretary of state, and the smart money says that Trumpet’s just toying with him as payback for Mittens calling him a fraud and a phony in a scathingly eloquent address during the campaign. ...

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