Meritocracy Meets Networking in the White House

Andrew Sullivan (2009): ‘I remember back in the late 1990s, when Ira Katznelson, an eminent political scientist at Columbia…

…came to deliver a guest lecture. Prof. Katznelson described a lunch he had with Irving Kristol during the first Bush administration.

The talk turned to William Kristol, then Dan Quayle’s chief of staff, and how he got his start in politics.

Irving recalled how he talked to his friend Harvey Mansfield at Harvard, who secured William a place there as both an undergrad and graduate student; how he talked to Pat Moynihan, then Nixon’s domestic policy adviser, and got William an internship at the White House; how he talked to friends at the RNC [Republican National Committee] and secured a job for William after he got his Harvard Ph.D.; and how he arranged with still more friends for William to teach at Penn and the Kennedy School of Government.

‘With that, Prof. Katznelson recalled, he then asked Irving what he thought of affirmative action. ‘I oppose it,’ Irving replied. ‘It subverts meritocracy.

Brad DeLong Grasping Reality (blog) 12th Sept 2015

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