New AIG CEO Bob Benmosche knows that his comments to employees indicating that he was going to shove his foot so far up Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s rear end he’d be spitting up pieces of Ferragamo for a week didn’t look so good in the harsh light of day. That people are saying he sounds like a mobster, a goon, a bully, when he was just trying to do his job. But look, there’s not really anything Bob can do about it. You can’t turn shit into Shinola, as Bob’s ma used to say. So go ahead, think whatever you want about Bob. Bob can handle it.
“You can characterize me as a goon, or you can characterize me as somebody who is attempting to deal with a complex issue of a very demoralized employee force and said those things to them in confidence to reassure them that they no longer have to be afraid that they are going to be attacked again,” Benmosche told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday.
What can you do? Some people are delicate flowers who can’t abide strong language, even when strong language is most definitely called for. Bob has done some soul-searching, and he understands that now.
“If there is anybody critical of Bob, it is Bob,” he said, referring to himself in the third person. “And Bob has to recognize that when he is having private meetings, that occasionally somebody is going to want to tape it and allow the press to get things I said in private, and that’s unfortunate. I have to be aware of that.”
So look, Bob is sorry. Next time he makes a threat against an elected official, he will not do so without frisking everyone in the room first.
AIG CEO regrets sharp criticism of Cuomo [Reuters]