Cautionary Tale

Time cover BannonFrom Saturday Night Live‘s opening skit last night, where he is portrayed as the Grim Reaper, to the cover of Time magazine, where he is called “The Great Manipulator,” Trump’s chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon has been all over the media.

He also happens to be behind the current rise of a book on Amazon sales rankings, The Best and the Brightest, David Halberstam’s 1972 examination, republished by PRH/Ballantine in 1993, of how, despite having some of the best minds in the country in the cabinet, the Kennedy administration got the country into the Vietnam War.

In a story in the NYT today, sports reporter Marc Tracy writes that, shortly after Christmas, he spotted Bannon carrying the book in an airport and asked if he was reading it. He replied that he’d assigned it to “everyone” on the transition team and that “It’s great for seeing how little mistakes early on can lead to big ones later.”

As Tracy concludes, it’s difficult to know if Bannon puts his latest moves into the category of “little mistakes.”

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