Trudeau Doesn’t Buy Trump’s Bluster

By

Leonard Zwelling

The angriest I think I saw Ron DePinho get was when he called me and the President and Vice President of the Faculty Senate into his office to castigate us about the leaks of slides that had been shown to the Senate. These slides had made their way to The Cancer Letter and they were critical of DePinho. He was angry at me in particular because of my relationship with Paul Goldberg, editor and publisher of the newsletter. DePinho was sure I was the source of the leak. He ranted on for about a half hour about how we have to work as a team. After he finally took a breath and the others in the room had firmly pressed themselves into the furniture cushions, I just said, “it wasn’t me.” And it wasn’t. I didn’t even have the slides and hadn’t seen them until they were published by Mr. Goldberg. I blew DePinho off. I knew he was a big bully. I was not going to be intimidated by his nonsense. I wish others had followed my lead, but alas…

President Trump essentially blew up the G7 meeting and its communiqué because he was angry about some of the things that Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, said at a news conference following the meeting. Trump was already winging his way to Singapore to meet with his new friend, Little Rocket Man. Why would Trump do this?

Putatively it was to look tough in the face of his new counterpart in North Korea, but I think Justin Trudeau gets under Trump’s skin. I think he is having none of this baloney about trade and tariffs. I think he would be happy to discuss anything Trump thinks is unfair, but he will not be kowtowed by the American President, nor should he be.

I too have gotten under people’s skin. I know it and I even know why. My bullshit meter is turned on to high sensitivity and when I see it or smell it, I tend to say what I see, hear and smell. John Mendelsohn hated this about me. He and I never really were able to get along on a business level because I could never be sure what he wanted and he could never be sure what I would do next (like calling faculty members to account about their poor compliance with federal regulations).

John and I just had different philosophies of life and were always going to be like oil and water. It is actually amazing I lasted as long as I did, but I attribute that to the beneficence of Margaret Kripke given that I was fired the day she retired.

I am most pleased to note that the current president of MD Anderson is anything but a bully. He is a very considered and considerate person who really is trying to do the best job possible. What a breath of fresh air!

Mr. Trump is like a bull in a china shop. He will break a lot of dishes. Mr. Trudeau has the large broom and will clean it all up if he can. And he will look great doing it. How about those socks!

Leonard Zwelling