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Bill, we hardly knew ya. . .

William Safire, whose political commentary column has appeared on the Op-Ed Page of The New York Times for more than 30 years, is stepping down, The Times said today.

The newspaper said in a statement that Mr. Safire would make his final appearance as an Op-Ed columnist on Jan. 24, 2005.

“The New York Times without Bill Safire is all but unimaginable,” Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the publisher of The Times, said in the statement. “Bill’s provocative and insightful commentary has held our readers captive since he first graced our Op-Ed Page in 1973. Reaching for his column became a critical and enjoyable part of the day for our readers across the country and around the world.

What will we do for the next four years without bizarre theories about the Clinton conspiracy? It’s really sad that Bill has decided to hang them up now; it is all but unimaginable that I could read the NYT op-ed page without learning about how Hilary Clinton managed to sabotage the Kerry campaign in her own nefarious climb to power. . .

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