I came across the phrase “be no profile in something” in the following statement of Maureen Dowd’s article titled “Of Mad men, Mad women and Meat loaf” in today’s (October 27) New York Times:
“Mitt was certainly no profile in courage” after Murdock’s comment blew up. He didn’t take back his endorsement. He hid from reporters on his plane, and even dodged his usual custom of giving a reporter a birthday hug.”
Readers English Dictionary at hand shows only two idioms – “in profile” and “keep a low profile” under the headword of “profile.”
Google Ngram viewers show instances of “no profile in” since 1880, and its usage is on the sharp rise since 1990.
What does “Somebody is no profile in something (courage, integrity, command of foreign policy, and whatever) means?
Is this an established idiom, or just a Dowd’s usual pun with the error message “no profiles in PPD for qualifier 'RGB16.1.600x600dpi, ” we often see on our PC.?