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Friday, December 7, 2018

Presidential Shorthand

Much has been said about the ‘awkward’ group in the front pew at George H. W. Bush’s memorial service the other day. Talleyrand thought it was more telling than awkward. The facial expression of each former president was almost a caricature of his reputation, viz:

Carter: dreamy

Clinton: depraved

Bush W: confused

Obama: arrogant

Trump: petulant

Who can say whether that was intentional. It does make one’s mind wander, however, over the reasons why leaders with particular personality traits tend to succeed those with others. For example, if Obama was America’s Gorbachev (as some wags liked to say), then Trump is, in some buffoonish way, similar to Yeltsin. Who will be the American Putin? A silly, but not entirely implausible, question.

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“ surtout, pas trop de zèle “

 

 

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