The New York Times published an opinion piece on September 5, written by an anonymous source from within the Trump administration. While The New York Times knows the writer's identity, in case anyone worries the person is not really a "senior administration official" like the OpEd claims, others can only speculate.
The piece is titled and subtitled:
"I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration: I work for the president but like-minded colleagues and I have vowed to thwart parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations."
“It may be cold comfort in this chaotic era, but Americans should know that there are adults in the room. We fully… https://t.co/x3t0S0TejO— New York Times Opinion (@New York Times Opinion) 1536175997.0
Dan Bloom is among the many who—after reading The Times OpEd—tried to discern the author. Bloom—an audio producer for Panoply podcasts for the Slate group—shared his theory on Twitter Wednesday.
His best guess? Vice President Mike Pence.
In his Twitter thread, Bloom outlined why he thinks Pence is the mystery writer behind the provocative piece. And it all came down to a single word.
The @nytimes just published an anonymous op-ed from a "senior administration official." I'd like to posit a guess a… https://t.co/K0rKPz75ka— Dan Bloom (@Dan Bloom) 1536177129.0
The word is "LODESTAR." Note that it comes in the same paragraph praising John McCain. That would rule out flame-t… https://t.co/xfLdMHEDCW— Dan Bloom (@Dan Bloom) 1536177353.0
Lodestar means "a star that is used to guide the course of a ship, especially Polaris." Bloom points out the rarity of the word's use in common speech.
But he still checked to see if other likely suspects used the word.
"Lodestar" just seems like an unusual word to use in general, not to mention in an op-ed that's going to be widely… https://t.co/hQDaKaFnmW— Dan Bloom (@Dan Bloom) 1536177472.0
...an example pops up of Vice President Mike Pence using the word "lodestar" in a speech at the UN in September 201… https://t.co/h0ArvPeoXL— Dan Bloom (@Dan Bloom) 1536177800.0
Mike Pence's name comes up when Bloom looks for the word online in relation to White House senior officials. More than once.
Two months later, Vice President Mike Pence speaks at the Jack Kemp Leadership Award Dinner. He drops "lodestar" ag… https://t.co/yFmKPFJnJI— Dan Bloom (@Dan Bloom) 1536177924.0
Like clockwork, in two month intervals.
Two more months later (like clockwork,) February 2018. Vice President Mike Pence speaking in Tokyo, alongside Japan… https://t.co/Q83GVH4jaO— Dan Bloom (@Dan Bloom) 1536178420.0
Bloom then found examples of Pence using the obscure term prior to becoming Vice President, like back in 2011.
Lest you believe Pence's "lodestar" proclivities began with his Vice Presidency, enjoy this little ditty from 2011.… https://t.co/ehKYX965pS— Dan Bloom (@Dan Bloom) 1536178587.0
Bloom reached his conclusion that Vice President Mike Pence wrote The New York Times OpEd claiming to be working for "the Resistance" from inside the Trump administration.
And lo, as I have shown in my previous tweets, peaches and nectarines are absolutely delicious, and Vice President… https://t.co/xmsUejNkRb— Dan Bloom (@Dan Bloom) 1536178904.0
After people had a chance to digest his theory, Bloom returned to his thread to answer a few questions. Such as this theory put forward by author and DC bureau chief for Mother Jones, David Corn. Why Pence? Why not his speechwriter?
If "lodestar" is the big clue, and given that Pence has used the word routinely in speeches, I would propose the ke… https://t.co/dfe9e463q6— David Corn (@David Corn) 1536182670.0
Bloom's response? Pence's White House speechwriter began working with him in 2017. Pence started loving lodestar as early as 2001.
A few questions that folks have raised: 1) What about Pence's speechwriter? Stephen Ford has been with Pence since… https://t.co/ze1jGFmAV9— Dan Bloom (@Dan Bloom) 1536183381.0
He also makes the point that "speechwriter for the Vice President" would not get billing as a senior official in the Trump administration" by The New York Times.
2) The Times piece begins with a disclaimer that describes the author as: "a senior official in the Trump administr… https://t.co/A9noOF7wxH— Dan Bloom (@Dan Bloom) 1536183561.0
as i read it, the language "job would be jeopardized" is rather broad. Even if Vice President Mike Pence can't be f… https://t.co/vF80HKI0kY— Dan Bloom (@Dan Bloom) 1536183626.0
Bloom's theory and research left some people on Twitter shook.
While others pointed to a possible deliberate use of Pence's favorite word. And opined that Pence does not improve on Trump given certain statements made by the former Governor of Indiana.
@danbl00m @nytimes @ashleyfeinberg Good detective work. Suggests either 1. someone wanted to falsely implicate Penc… https://t.co/6BxHrsvtw0— DemonJSubCollar (@DemonJSubCollar) 1536181136.0
However, one respondent put forth another credible theory concerning a profession where the term lodestar is not so uncommon.
@danbl00m @nytimes @ashleyfeinberg It’s a legal term. Whoever wrote it is a lawyer. That’s my bet.— Bryant Spann (@Bryant Spann) 1536180899.0
@danbl00m @nytimes @ashleyfeinberg I’m a lawyer. There’s a test applied to an award of attorney fees in litigation… https://t.co/Ya4WxJNji9— Bryant Spann (@Bryant Spann) 1536182033.0
Lawyers are certainly plentiful in Washington DC. Meanwhile, unless the author reveals themselves, President Donald Trump will simply have to speculate like everyone else.
DO YOU SAY LODESTAR? https://t.co/V9z5JjI3XF— JosABanks (@JosABanks) 1536178508.0