David Rubenstein on the 'Panda Sex' Principle of Politics
By James Fallows
This morning, on the final day of the Washington Ideas Forum, I got to interview David Rubenstein on topics ranging from the Chinese succession to his own decision to give away his fortune rather than leave it to his children. The world knows Rubenstein as co-founder and head of the Carlyle Group, and because of the public-philanthropy projects he has undertaken. (Underwriting post-earthquake repairs to the Washington Monument and the National Cathedral; buying a copy of the Emancipation Proclamation for display at the White House and of the Magna Carta to be shown at the National Archives; numerous university gifts; etc.) I knew him originally as a fellow low-salaried, mid-20s toiler on the Jimmy Carter presidential campaign and in the Carter White House.
David Rubenstein has also been to the Chinese panda reserve I described in our magazine a few years ago. This morning he applied lessons from panda life to the ongoing political struggles in the Capitol. You can see the results below. (He is the gray-haired guy with the glasses. I am the gray-haired guy without glasses.)