Page 38 - FSJ June 2012

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some suits. Always the jester, NBC’s
State Department correspondent,
Bernie Kalb, replied: “No big deal.
My shoemaker will be flying in from
Trieste!”
It is not clear that Haig got to wear
the suits that Tarpey presumably cre-
ated for him, at least as Secretary of
State, for Pres. Reagan fired him just
six weeks later without explanation.
Haig broke a self-imposed silence
about the mysterious circumstances of
his departure from Foggy Bottom two
months later, while delivering a speech
to a private group on “the four pillars
of American foreign policy.” Informed
that Haig had been paid $25,000 for
the speech, Bernie Kalb said, “Gee, I
would have given them eight pillars for
half that!”
Not long after succeeding Haig as
Secretary of State, George P. Shultz
took off for Europe. Ahead of his stop
in Germany, Embassy Bonn put out a
booklet welcoming “Secretary of State
Charles Schultz.” It was probably the
only publication of its kind that ever
became a collector’s item.
A few years later, Shultz traveled to
Uruguay to attend a presidential inau-
guration. After a meeting at the Hotel
Plaza Victoria, Assistant Secretary for
Latin American Affairs Tony Motley
was unable to find his boss’s limousine.
He became frantic, shouting, “This re-
minds me of the time when I was try-
ing to start a war [in Grenada in 1983]
and couldn’t because I was standing at
the corner of 20th and Pennsylvania
Avenue and couldn’t get a cab!”
During the Shultz era (1982-1989),
Deputy Spokesperson Phyllis Oakley
conducted many of the noon briefings.
One day she was asked about a rumor
that Shultz had a tiger tattoo on his
posterior. “I have no way of knowing,”
Oakley answered, a line that followed
her around for years. (Shultz was a
graduate of Princeton and a fan of its
Tigers football team.)
Stuck in the Mud
I found traveling abroad with Sec-
retaries of State was often overrated.
No matter how interesting the venue,
I seemed to spend most of my time
locked in a hotel press room grinding
out stories on deadline. And even if
there was an opportunity to see the
country, sometimes a crisis elsewhere
would cut short the visit.
One adventure that went ahead as
planned was a Shultz safari in Africa,
back in January 1987. Two hours into
a Sunday outing at the Masai Mara
game preserve in Tanzania, the Secre-
tary’s jeep (one of several on the expe-
dition) got stuck in the mud.
While aides tried to extract the ve-
hicle, Shultz wandered over the
muddy turf to a grassy area where I
was standing. We observed the messy
situation before us. “A metaphor for
U.S. foreign policy?” I jokingly asked.
“Stuck in the mud,” he replied, smil-
ingly.
Secretary of State Madeleine Al-
bright (1997-2001) had a habit of
scheduling visits to exotic places and
then having to cancel because of unan-
ticipated developments. Examples
were Timbuktu (in northern Mali) and
the Taj Majal.
Kalb vs. Kalb
Accomplished as Bernie Kalb was,
he always lived in the shadow of his
brother, Marvin. Bernie told me about
the time their mother called the CBS
38
F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L / J U N E 2 0 1 2
One spokesman
had a habit of
practicing his golf swing
during particularly
long-winded questions.
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