FACTS: THE HEIR TO THE THRONE
Imagine, if you will, that it is now 1999 and you do not know how the 2000 Presidential Election will turn out. George W. Bush (“George W”), is still just the son of the former President and now a candidate for the Presidency in his own right. George W has been seeking the Republican nomination for President for months, and he has distinguished himself primarily as a campaign fundraiser. His only drawback, of course, is that he is utterly without knowledge of, or experience in, national or international politics. The latter fact was made painfully obvious in a recent press conference, in which George W was unable, in response to reporters’ questions, to name the leader of any foreign nation, any of the Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, or any of the planets in our solar system. George W’s advisers suggested to him that his education might be somewhat deficient and further suggested he take a crash course in national and international affairs.
George W went to his father, former President Bush, for advice, and the elder Bush suggested that George W enlist the aid of Henry Kissinger, the somewhat aged but well-respected former Secretary of State from the Nixon administration. George W telephoned Kissinger on October 1, 1999, and the conversation proceeded as follows:
Kissinger: Henry Kissinger, adviser to persons of greatness, at your service.
George W: Hank, you old sea dog. This is George W. Can I call you Hank? How are you?
Kissinger: I hate it when people call me Hank.
George W: Right you are, Hank. Listen, Hank. I have a problem. Some people seem to think I’m an intellectual lightweight and an ignoramus on policy matters.
Kissinger: Let’s just say that Dan Quayle has never looked wiser or more erudite.
George W: Ha ha. That’s a good one Hank. Listen, here’s the deal. I need a tutor. All these foreign countries and foreign leaders have such funny names. It’s now October 1, and, if I’m going to win the nomination and the Presidency and take office in January of 2001, I’m going to need constant tutoring from now through December 2000. That’s a full fifteen months. If you will give me one two-hour tutorial per week over the next 15 months, I’ll pay you $5,000 a month. I’ll even come to you, so you don’t have to travel or incur any expenses. I’ve got more corporate jets at my disposal than the Air Force has fighter planes, and I can go wherever I want whenever I want. We could have the sessions early on Monday mornings-say at
Kissinger: What if you don’t win the nomination? What if you drop out of the race early? Will I be left without a job?
George W: No way, Hank. You don’t understand. I’m offering you a guaranteed job as my tutor in national and international affairs for an absolute minimum of fifteen months. No more, no less. You’ll get a paycheck at the end of each month. And it only requires two hours a week. You can do anything else you want for the rest of each week. But I want you to commit now for the full fifteen months so I don’t have to worry about this any more. So what do you say? You can start this week.