There was a young man in my Harvard College class ['54] who really got on everyone's nerves. His name was David Shapiro. He was absolutely brilliant, and picture book handsome. But what really got under our skins was the fact that he was really, really a nice guy. It didn't seem fair, somehow. Sort of like Angelina Jolie, who in addition to being the most gorgeous woman in the world is also a committed activist for humanitarian causes. I mean, why couldn't she just marry famous men, like Marilyn Monroe?
The French have a lovely phrase for this phenomenon. They call it an embarras de richesses. That must be the way the Obama campaign feels this morning. The video of Mitt Romney's despicable comments to a closed door meeting of rich donors, coming on top of his ill-considered comments about the violence in Libya and Egypt, which in turn followed Clint Eastwood's world-class comedy routine at the Republican Convention, must leave the Obama campaign ad planners at a loss to know which disaster to feature in their thirty second spots. Truly, an embarras de richesses.
Shapiro, by the way, after marrying a lovely woman whom I dated briefly, went on to become a distinguished Harvard Law professor, a leading expert on Civil Procedure who has, on occasion, generously offered support and encouragement to my son, Tobias, whose field is also Civil Procedure. For that, I can forgive him anything.