The New York Post took note of our American Spirit Awards dinner, picking up on David Gergen’s inspiring and humorous speech.
Page Six’s Emily Smith wrote the following article with the headline, “David Gergen dishes out political anecdotes.”
Political commentator David Gergen was bursting with great anecdotes at The Common Good’s American Spirit Awards.
The former presidential adviser who served during the administrations of Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton is now a political analyst and a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Gergen, 71, was honored at the gala in front of a crowd that included Common Good founder Patricia Duff, DOMA heroine Edith Windsor and Michelle Paige Paterson.
Gergen said of Pierre Salinger, press secretary to presidents Kennedy and Johnson, “Pierre was a raconteur, he liked to tell the story when he was press secretary for Jack Kennedy: One day at 11 o’clock the president says, ‘Pierre I know you love a cigar as much as I do. Well, Pierre, I need you to get me some of Havana’s best cigars . . . I need a thousand and I need them by 11 o’clock tomorrow morning . . . The next day Kennedy called him in and said, ‘Pierre did you get those cigars?’ ‘Yes sir, Mr. President, I got all thousand, they are right here.’ At noon sharp, President Kennedy went on national television to declare a trade embargo against Cuba.”
Of former Sen. Bob Dole, “He walked into a fancy white-tie dinner in Washington, and up on the dias were three former presidents Jimmy Carter, Gerry Ford and Richard Nixon. Dole walks in deadpan and said, “Oh look, there’s hear no evil, see no evil . . . and evil.”
Of bipartisan politics, Gergen said, “I miss the kind of politics where people argue but at the end of the day they got things worked out . . . [when there was a ] sense of affection and trust for each other, which matters a great deal in politics.
President Reagan once threw a party for Democratic House Speaker Tip O’Neill and invited Tip’s friends to the White House.
Reagan stood up and gave a toast, and said,“Tip if I had a ticket to heaven and you didn’t have one too, well I’d give my ticket back and go to hell with you.”
Read more at the New York Post.