I feel as if it's Paul Wolfowitz week. Big segments on NPR on the World Bank and the DRC, long profile in the New Yorker, and scandal, scandal, scandal in the Washington Post.
It's weird to reconcile the PW in the news - Iraq war hawk, beleaguered World Bank president - with the PW who was my dean in grad school. He was kind, avuncular, and always interested in the students. He congratulated me personally on my Washington Post article and chatted amiably with me before my dinner with his replacement as Ambassador to Indonesia. Overall a nice guy, and my favorite kind of conservative: a pragmatic one. He was for example one of the key JHU administrators who pushed for benefits for same-sex partners, because he recognized the value of keeping good employees.
Of course he was also having an affair with one of my classmates.
Her name was Alison, and she was a year of ahead of me in Strategic Studies. She was working as one of PW's assistants. (wink wink) Apparently when PW was being considered for the Bush cabinet he was told that he had to drop her and so she was shipped off to UVA law school.
Is she the girlfriend who left the Bank for the State Department?
I have heard all the gossip but haven't really been following it in the papers. His last year at SAIS was the year before I started, so my only memory of him is when he spoke at an accepted students' event I went to. He seemed nice, I liked what I saw.
It's very weird that he went from being academic-y nice SAIS dean to war hawk to World Bank screw-up.
On April 17th, 2007 04:54 pm (UTC), (Anonymous) replied:
woah...intense...so different in so many ways from the jessica einhorn (who actually came FROM the bank, i think), the current dean. she never really seemed to care much about the students. i also can't imagine her having an affair with any of them. not that i want to. or that i've imagined wolfy having one. it's icky.
I've kept a vauge eye on Wolfowitz (as I call 'im) over the years. He seemed one of the more relatively sane ones, and I can't remember ever developing any particular hatred of him, or anything he said. Overly optimistic, perhaps, but capable.
As for sleeping with cute young girls, that just proves he's human. :-) Which is all too rare in politics, these days. Depends how his wife feels about it, really. If she's cool, them I'm cool. (Is he even married?)
I think his big problem has been attempting to bring his straightforward right/wrong thinking to the World Bank. "The giggest problem is... Greed and corruption!" WTF? I thought that's what composed the World Bank.
And clearly he doesn't think deviously enough. Someone got him to do the honourable thing and fire his lover, and then they got her hired somewhere embarrassing. Excellent move. I suppose if you're going to go after corrupt governments, you better not have any human emotions or people you care about. It's the girlfriends I feel sorry for.