Most days he looks like he just rolled out of bed after an all-night bender. The bags under his eyes are bigger than the ones Stanley packed on his search for Livingston. After twenty years of columnizing, Bill McClellan looks as tired as his adopted hometown. But make no mistake: McClellan is still St. Louis' best-read and best-liked columnist. McClellan rarely surprises. You know he's going to have a soft spot for veterans and cops. You know he's got a problem with plaintiffs' lawyers, especially those who file class-action lawsuits (and most especially those who sue him
). You know he has a populist streak: He's a soft touch for a sob story and he loves to tweak big-shot CEOs with bloated bankrolls and bloated politicians with big-ass Lincolns. You know as long as Hillary keeps breathing, he'll use that "Hello, Sailor" shtick again. McClellan's like an old shoe: reliable and comfortable. And yet the old shoe still has kick. Earlier this year, after the murder of KMOX morning personality Nan Wyatt, McClellan scored a controversial interview with Wyatt's husband -- her alleged killer. He also could take credit for bumping ex-American Airlines chairman Donald Carty as commencement speaker at St. Louis University: After McClellan ripped Carty for seeking employee concessions at the same time airline execs were to receive bonuses, SLU president Larry Biondi asked the columnist to take Carty's place, enraging conservative Catholics who decried McClellan's pro-choice views. McClellan, naturally, shrugged it off. He's too tired to get riled.