William L. Safire (born December 17, 1929) writes syndicated op-ed pieces, generally with a conservative viewpoint. Since 1979, he has written "On Language," a weekly column in the New York Times Magazine covering grammar, etymology, new or unusual usages, and other language-related topics.
Safire was one of the leading critics of the Bill Clinton administration. Hillary Clinton in particular was often the target of his ire. He caused a mild tempest when he called her a "congenital liar"; Hillary responding that she didn't feel offended for herself, but for her mother's sake.
He is also a consistent and avowed partisan in the defence of the state of Israel.
In 1978, he won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary.
Before he became a journalist, Safire was a speechwriter for Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew; he wrote Agnew's phrase "nattering nabobs of negativism." Earlier still, he was a public relations executive.
Writings of Safire
Sleeper Spy (1995)
Safire's Political Dictionary, 3rd edition, Random House, NY, l968,l972,l978.
The Relations Explosion,
Plunging into Politics,
Before the Fall