Monday, March 31, 2008

Prick[ly] Ickes Still Nasty after All These Years

Harold Ickes was my boss in the '68 McCarthy primary campaign run out of Columbus Circle in NYC. He was a very abrasive, inconsiderate, and generally nasty fellow. He assigned me to work in Brooklyn with a very young John Podesta, who was about nineteen at the time, in Bay Ridge, the only New York state congressional district that had gone for Barry Goldwater in the '64 election.

I met John in the late eighties, before he became Bill Clinton's Chief of Staff in the White House, and Podesta agreed with me that those days of working precincts and neighborhoods were among the most joyous of our respective political careers.

It's worthy of note that John Podesta, whose personal affability and generosity are apparent, even when one disagrees with him on issues or general perspective, has become a widely respected political operator frequently interviewed on national TV. While a Hillary supporter, JP might end up in a senior position in an Obama administration, just because of his innate talents.

Whereas Ickes' chief characteristics are a fierce loyalty and a willingness to cut corners, play dirty tricks, and generally do what it takes to scratch out a victory, even if that means scratching an opponents eyeballs out in the process. Unless I'm mistaken, Ickes may have made enough enemies to once again keep him from a significant role in the next Dem administration.

John Podesta is living proof that nice guys don't necessarily finish last.

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