OK - so I know that economy sucks so why was Pod- a not inexpensive restaurant- packed on a Wednesday evening at 5:30. Is Penn wildly overpaying it's employees or was everyone there going to see Kissinger like I was?
My D kindly invited me to a symposium on how the future president would handle/effect international relations. Isn't she the greatest?
Lots of introductions by Penn president Amy Gutman, who either has wonderful hair or the worlds best blow dry, Mayor nutter, etc but the main discussion participants were Henry Kissinger and Robert Rubin , Secy of the Treasury under Bill Clinton. It was moderated by Frank Sesno, formerly of CNN. The 3 of them just sat on chairs in front of the audience and talked.
First I was surprised how thrilled I was to see Kissinger in person; kind of like that rush when you spot a famous person in a restaurant. I've watched him on TV for so many years and his voice, mannerisms, physical appearance was exactly the same. Best of all was how wonderful it was to see three incredibly intelligent and informed men sit around talking with nothing to prove. None of them are running for office and are all so accomplished that they are way beyond the point where they worry what people think of them. Of course they were insightful and fascinating bu they were also witty,funny, irrelevant and flippant. I felt like I was listening in on a great dinner conversation.
No matter how you feel about the effect he has had on our nations foreign policy Kissinger is definitely the linguistic master.
A few of the best lines...
It is essential for the new President to prioritize but unfortunately in Washington the urgent often drives out the important.
We need to start a conversation with the world's leaders in which we come not with the solution but with the question.
When asked if we should be negotiating with Iran he said that diplomacy isn't theology; someone doesn't have to be morally fit to be in the same negotiating room as us.
They both agreed that the world's opinion of us can not be fixed unless our financial state is in order and most hopefully agreed that tremendous problems = tremendous opportunities.
All in all, a fascinating evening.