19 January 2009

A remark made by Dean Rusk, Secretary of State under Kennedy and Johnson, seems apposite during our present world crises. The US is "the fat boy in the canoe; when it moves, all must adjust." This also appears as "...when we roll, everyone rolls with us." Rusk also used the metaphor for the Ford Foundation, calling it "the fat boy in the philanthropic canoe."

A statement with the same meaning common here in the UK is "When the US sneezes, the UK [or the world] catches a cold." Needless to say, this has been overused in the last several months.

Let's hope Obama and his team will be able to remove the sting from the joke about the nine most frightening words in the English language, attributed to Reagan, Denis Healey and others: "We're from the government and we're here to help."

Tomorrow's inauguration can't come soon enough!!

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