OIL SPILL IN THE
GULF OF MEXICO
In my first several missions to determine who gets what—for the victims of Agent Orange, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the Virginia Tech shootings—the American people were on my side, an important ingredient in any recipe for success. It might take months, or even years, for the victims themselves to grudgingly acknowledge my compensation efforts as fair and reasonable. But the average Joe, the everyday American, was in my corner. Even when serving as the Treasury’s “pay czar,” I was David attempting to rein in the Goliaths of Wall Street, and so benefited from public support. This provided me with a certain degree of political immunity from the criticism of elected officials and those with a personal interest in the outcomes.
But what might happen when citizen acclaim did not come with the job? What if a unique American tragedy gave rise to a