Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Sunday, May 01, 2005

"Dave" and Haig

Many of you have probably seen the movie, Dave, with Kevin Kline, et al. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I like it and watch it often when I see that it is on television. My embarrassment arises because the plot is basically left-wing interventionist tripe. Also it is romantic nonsense. I don't care, I still like it. Leonard Maltin gives it three stars.

After reading Alex Tabarrok's posting about his encounter with Alexander Haig*, I wondered if perhaps the White House Chief of Staff in Dave was patterned on Haig. Alex T writes
I introduced myself, he was pleasant and we talked a little but he didn't give his name. Oh hell, I thought, he expects me to know it.

Do I insult his vanity by asking or do I remain quiet? My instincts were to remain quiet but by failing to introduce himself he was clearly intending to signal his superiority and that annoyed me - thus at the price of revealing my ignorance I pricked his vanity and subtly indicated that I didn't know who he was. He responded, "Well, I was President twice...briefly".

Of course! I still didn't recognize him but I immediately knew. After all, he is famous for claiming he was President, Al Haig!
Twice? Perhaps the first time was while he was White House Chief of Staff for Nixon when Nixon resigned and Ford became president. Haig may have been "in control" very briefly then. And of course the second time was after Reagan was wounded and Haig announced, "I am in control...".

I asked Alex T if Haig smiled when he said he'd been president twice... briefly. Alex replied that Haig, "... wasn't pompous but he certainly wasn't self-deprecating either!"

* Alex T and Alex H? hmmm there's a dynamic duo for tv billing: Alex squared.
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