In the green room before my appearance on Kudlow and Co. I was with an older gentleman who looked vaguely familiar but I couldn’t place him. 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!
To be fair, Haig is a major figure in twentieth century U.S. politics and he is still sharp. We had a very interesting conversation about Truman’s firing of Douglas MacArthur and about Donald Rumsfeld’s mistakes in Iraq.
Funny thing is, however, he never did tell me his name.