Monday, July 14, 2008

A Modern McNamara?

I been Norman Mailer'd
Maxwell Taylor'd
I been John O'Hara'd
I been Rolling Stoned and Beatled till I'm blind

I been Ayn Randed
Nearly branded
A communist
'cause I'm left-handed
That's the hand I use--well, never mind.
--Paul Simon, A Simple Desultory Philippic (or how I was Robert McNamara'd into submission)

Ah, Robert McNamara, a man known mostly for architecting the Vietnam War, the Edsel (apocryphally?), and running the World Bank during the beginning of its "let's burn the rain forests!" years. Could there ever be another like him?

Maybe Jamie Gorelick? Author of the Gorelick wall? Vice-Chairman of Fannie Mae?

Now she's moving into oil? What could possibly go wrong?


  1. You forgot Mac's TV appearances as a foreign policy and defense expert.

    He constantly argued that Reagan's policies were dangerous, simplistic, and would never work. He was the McLean Stevenson of Public life.

  2. I couldn't possibly list all the man's accomplishments--well, okay, I could, but I'm lazy.

    That's a good one. That's better than the Edsel, which Wiki sez isn't true. (He was against it, apparently.)

    The thing about McLean Stevenson, on the other hand, is that he learned his lesson. The hard way, but nonetheless. I remember seeing one of those M*A*S*H retros where they had an interview of him saying something to the effect that he thought at the time that he was responsible for the show's success, but his later career demonstrated that he had misjudged.

    It was charmingly sheepish. "Yeah, I threw away my career...."

  3. Yeah Mclean used to play poker every Sunday night with David Caruso, Pernal Roberts and Frank Stallone. It was big in the late seventies.

  4. Heh.

    Frank Stallone?

    Fun fact: In 1980, David Caruso had a role in the low-budget horror flick "Without Warning", as one of the alien predator's first victims.

    That film also starred Jack Palance, Cameron Mitchell and Martin Landau. Landau and Palance would later go on to win Oscars.

    Caruso would go on to leave a hit TV show for a failing movie career. But he would master the art of taking of his sunglasses dramatically.


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