I came across the phrase “pillow-plumping romance with the press” in Maureen Dowd’s article titled “Liability Index” in New York Times August 11 issue. It reads:
The president survived a “raised by wolves” upbringing, as Michelle has called it. He retained the monastic skills that sustained him through the solitude of his years in New York. His “winning smile,” as Jonathan Alter wrote in “The Promise,” “obscured a layer of self-protective ice.” His staffers respect him, but he doesn’t inspire the kind of adoration that the Bush presidents got. And the pillow-plumping romance with the press is over.
All three online dictionaries of Cambridge, Oxford, and Merriam-Webster I use to consult with carry pillow talk, but none of them registers pillow-plumping.
OALD simply defines plump “having a soft, round body” as adjective, and “to make sth larger, softer and rounder” as transitive verb.
I assume pillow-plumping romance means “close and friendly relationship” with press from the context, but am not sure.
What does pillow-plumping mean? Is it very popular word?
Can I say “Sonny’s pillow-plumping romance with Hollywood is over”, or “Tom had a pillow-plumping romance (or relationship) with the shop clerk.”?