Not Just a Friedman, But a Friedman-Friedman!


Me, on New York Times global-affairs simplifier Thomas L. Friedman, in August 2005:

Michael Mandelbaum, a professor at Johns Hopkins' School of Advanced International Studies who cut his academic teeth studying superpower relations during the Cold War […] has appeared in 40 of Friedman's columns during the last decade, two of his books, and at least 25 other Friedman pieces dating back to 1989. […]

Mandelbaum, usually described as "the Johns Hopkins foreign policy expert," quickly became Friedman's go-to metaphor dispenser, issuing pithy and grammatically flawless bon mots on an impressively broad range of topics, including Saudi Wahhabism ("Either we get rid of our minivans or Saudi Arabia gets rid of its textbooks"), China's entry into the World Trade Organization ("Some things are in the national interest even though the Chamber of Commerce believes them"), Iraq's insurgents ("the real fascists, the real colonialists, the real imperialists of our age"), Jacques Chirac ("France, it seems, would rather be more important in a world of chaos than less important in a world of order"), and American energy independence ("This is not just a win-win, this is a win-win-win-win-win"). His quips became Friedman's headlines, from "Brussels Sprouts" to "Club NATO" to "Gulf of Tonkin II."

Thomas L. Friedman, on Dec. 27:

A gasoline tax "is not just win-win; it's win, win, win, win, win," says the Johns Hopkins author and foreign policy specialist Michael Mandelbaum. "A gasoline tax would do more for American prosperity and strength than any other measure Obama could propose."

You can tell the quote isn't just cut and pasted, because this time it's not hyphenated…. Oh, and the headline: "Win, Win, Win, Win, Win …"