Hank Paulson eats people like you for breakfast. He never met a striped bass he wouldn't dispassionately shove a hook into and call dinner. But show him a bird in peril and the former Treasury Secretary and Goldman Sachs CEO breaks like a little girl. From Bethany McLean's story in the new Vanity Fair:
"Paulson is a walking set of contradictions. A fiercely competitive man, he is also an avid conservationist who freaked out when birds would fly into the glass windows of 85 Broad."
"Freaked out"! What does that mean? Did he crawl out onto the ledge, gather the little guys up in his rough manly hands, nurse them back to health with an eyedropper, holding it close to his Rolex, the ticking of which would remind the small creatures of the beating of their mothers' hearts? In fatal situations, did Paulson subject the entire staff to a funeral, complete with organs and the reading of the psalm? Were there tears? Asked for elaboration, a person close to the former Treasury secretary tells us that Paulson's love for birds runs deep, and that he in fact "instilled a lot of environmentally responsible policies with the firm's real estate and other infrastructure" (i.e. installed bird-safe glass to keep the little guys safe) — but "freaked out" is an exaggeration. Or, at least, it's unlikely that he ever lost control of his emotions entirely. "Hank Paulson is like Chuck Norris. His tears are the cure for cancer. Too bad he's never cried."