Tim Gunn Is Cool With Hank Paulson Bogarting His Catchphrase

Two men, one mind. Photo: Getty Images

Until this week, we’d never even dared to imagine Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson loosening the tie and kicking up the old wingtips for a little Project Runway viewage. But the image came alive in an interview Paulson gave to the Washington Post Wednesday, wherein he used Runway mentor Tim Gunn’s signature directive, “Make it work,” twice, once when lecturing his former Wall Street comrades about regulation — “You should not be thinking about how to fight it but how to make it work” — and later, when recalling a conversation he’d had with Barclays on purchasing Lehman: “I said, let me try to figure out how to make it work.’” We checked in with Gunn to see how he felt about his mantra being co-opted by The Man. “I love it,” he said. “‘Make it work’ is the perfect phrase for him to use in his situation. It says ‘you’re not getting any extra resources. You’re not getting any special treatment, you’re not getting any more funds. Be creative with what you have and make it work.’” Alas, Treasury spokeswoman Brooke Li had someone on the trail with Paulson check in with him about the phrase, and reported to Daily Intel that it was not Runway-inspired. “He’s not watching a lot of TV these days,” she said. Brooke is officially awesome for discussing this with us, but we’re not buying it. For instance: If he wasn’t a fan of Gunn’s, then why did he buy the same glasses?