Friday, December 14, 2012

political nerve

What a pleasure to hear one of the power elite exercise a bit of pointed humor.

There was the Russian ambassador to the U.N. on public TV last night, being interviewed about Russia's stance on the continuing bloody revolution in Syria. Seven minutes and 51 seconds into the interview, Vitaly Churkin was asked how he felt about the fact that Susan Rice, America's ambassador to the U.N., had withdrawn her name from consideration as a contender to become the U.S. Secretary of State.

And Churkin, without cracking a smile, said that if Rice's action meant that she would be spending four more years as U.N. ambassador, then he would have to ask for double pay.

A thrust, a compliment, a bit of straightforward wit among adults ... what politician feels assured enough to do that any more ... to step outside the solemn precincts of a given topic and crack a smile?

It made me laugh out loud and left the interviewer flummoxed enough so that she reiterated the question and Churkin, with the good grace that a school marm might accord to a first-grader, repeated his response.

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