Poor Margaret Spellings! The secretary of education was ready to talk student loans, No Child Left Behind, blah, blah, blah, when she came into The Post for an interview with editors and reporters last week. So maybe she was taken aback when a reporter (not us, we swear!) asked why she turned down Karl Rove when he asked her out back in the early '80s. (Rove later joked it took his ego "decades to recover.")
Spellings paused, reports our colleague Amit Paley, then said: "Have you met Karl Rove?"
"He was so inept and so inartful," she added. "I mean, I couldn't even understand."
We should note that our mean old co-workers brought up the Rove thing only to change the subject after they had inadvertently made Spellings cry. When asked to describe a side of President Bush the public doesn't know, the secretary started telling an old story about how then-Gov. Bush consoled a Texas official who had broken down while eulogizing a colleague. "Oh, I'm going to cry just telling you the story," she said, removing her glasses and dabbing her eyes with a napkin. "Y'all, I can't believe you did this to me!"
She left the interview still a little weepy and mulling the potential impact of crying in front of the press. "Now you'll take sympathy on me," she said. "Maybe."