It was a sublime experience to become acquainted with a figure of Henry Kissinger’s stature. If only our time had not been so limited. I had just started asking Kissinger about fascinating parallels between the lives of Talleyrand and Metternich when the press was ushered in. I cannot abide having to exchange those empty pleasantries when the cameras are on.
After the press left, I asked Kissinger two more questions. First, whether he agreed with me that Albania constituted a significant exception to Samuel Huntington’s clash-of-civilizations theory. Second, whether, in reacting to Syrian secret service involvement in past unrest in Lebanon, crafting a Syria-focused US policy vis-a-vis Lebanon might nevertheless be reductionist. “I’ll get back to ya,” he chuckled. From that first-rate political mind I certainly had not anticipated such sophomoric humor.
Surely Kissinger has been briefed on why I had to give the media such seemingly ill-informed blather. The idea was John’s. Not only has he orchestrated my virtual sequestration from the American media, but he has insisted that my public persona remain linguistically and intellectually inferior to his. His advisors insist this is the only way to hold onto the “base.” So be it. As Bismarck said, politics is the art of the possible – but still, there are times when I find my running mate to be impossible.