Really George

These days everyone, in government and out, at home and abroad, seems to be falling all over himself praising Secretary of State George Shultz. Even President Reagan likes him. Shouldn't somebody start to worry about this? Nobody has been this popular since Lindbergh flew the Atlantic.

He is said to be not only the perfect administrator but also the only high administration offical who really knows anything about international affairs. Wow! If we're not going to worry about George Shultz, maybe we ought to worry about everybody else. Maybe he is the only normal person in a roomful of ding-dongs.

He is eulogized as burning the midnight oil in a small, modest office - something like Lincoln's log cabin - boning up on US foreign policy. What is more, it is said he is making sense out of it. That ought to throw a scare into somebody. But it doesn't. Even the Democrats think he looks more like a marine than a bank president.

The US foreign policy, as we see it, is like the bald eagle. Everbody believes there is such a thing but no one has ever seen it in action. It is exhibited only occasionally, laying eggs on television. It is on the endangered species list.

Presumably, with George Shultz sitting on the eggs, our endangered foreign policy may hatch into something. What, we don't know. We hope into something that can fly, even though George Shultz doesn't look like anything you could put wings on.

In fact he doesn't fly at all. At least not off the handle. He is more owl than eagle. He blinks and thinks. He raps rather than flaps.

He comes through as a very solid person, not very bird-like at all. Something like a seismograph, perhaps, which takes note of earthquakes but isn't moved very much by them. He has the energy, and charisma, of a glacier, exerting subtle pressure on the mountains of rocks and slowly moving them.

The trouble with big objects moving slowly is that they appear not to move at all. Yet, they say he is flexible and listens to advice. This sounds like a Maginot Line on wheels.

There are, however, a couple of potential dissenters. Security adviser William Clark and Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, in the fashion peculiar to them, may try dancing circles around the good-old-George, the way they did around Alexander, the hard-boiled-Haig. After all, George is a quiet sort.

People named George never seem to have the verve and charm of charismatic leaders. Georges are short on elan and derring-do. George is an unexciting name. It is hard to think of any great leaders named George.

Unless you count George Washington.

When you come to think of it, he was sort of a George Shultz type.

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