Holbrooke Versus Peterson
Above: Ambassador Holbrooke and his dawg, Richard Gere
That Dick Holbrooke can be a bit of a prick is common knowledge, but he is usually possessed of enough sangfroid as to keep his hypercompetitive barbs out of the print media. According to Lloyd Grove's Lowdown:
"Some folks in the bluenose Pilgrims Association needed the smelling salts the other day when their luncheon speaker, Clinton-era UN Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, traded public insults with club member Pete Peterson. After being introduced by Time magazine scion Henry Luce 3rd as, among other things, a former 'senior officer at Lehman Brothers,' Holbrooke spotted his ex-Lehman boss, Peterson, in the crowd at the Union League Club, and announced: 'I was told that the Pilgrims were all descended directly from the Mayflower people, and then I walked in and saw Pete Peterson - so I knew that can't be true.' Some time later, but well before Holbrooke's presentation was over, Peterson (who is of Greek ancestry) stood up at his table, turned his back on Holbrooke and started walking out. 'I see Mr. Peterson is leaving - he must be bored,' Holbrooke remarked. Peterson halted and declared: 'I don't know of a single person at Lehman Brothers, out of 3,000 employees, who ever thought that Richard Holbrooke was a senior officer.' Then Peterson departed."
Arctic! Grove concludes, however, rather anticlimactically, "yesterday, Peterson and Holbrooke assured me that they're just old friends who love to trash-talk each other."
Sure. We can imaging the dialogue from the Council on Foreign Relations:
Holbrooke: Gonna make you my bitch on the squash courts today, Peterson.
Peterson: (Shocked) Don't speak to me that way, you wretched fiend.
Holbrooke: (Softly chuckling) Gonna break your back like I did to your father last night, brisket-ass.
Peterson: Tell that to Cypress.
Holbrooke: Ouch. (Wounded) -- that's uncalled for ...
Peterson: Sorry about that, Dicky. I was just feeling my oats. Say, what's Diane Sawyer like between the sheets?
And so on ...