September 09, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT

The Clinton-Lewinsky scandal is a gift to pundits eager to sound off early and often. But one former Pulitzer-Prize-winning-columnist-turned-novelist, Anna Quindlen, is happy she abandoned her journalistic pulpit at the New York Times in 1994 and doesn’t have to weigh in. “I didn’t love writing columns criticizing people whose work I admired,” Quindlen tells EW Online. “And I wouldn’t have relished doing it in this case either, particularly given the fact that I admire and like Hillary Rodham Clinton so much.” Still, there have been moments when Quindlen felt the call of the column: “When people were saying feminists have kept quiet about Bill Clinton, there were times when I — a lifelong feminist — really wanted to say, ‘Mr. President, this will not do!'”

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