Ach, du lieber Gott in Himmel!

Lessons in statesmanship: From Bismarck to Muldoon

“A statesman cannot create anything himself. He must wait and listen until he hears the steps of God sounding through events; then leap up and grasp the hem of his garment. “
—Otto von B., quoted by Alan John Percivale Taylor in Bismarck: The Man and the Statesman, 1955.

[Bismarck] liked to say that a statesman’s main task was “to listen until he hears the rustle of God’s robe, then leap up and grasp the hem of the garment.”
—Os Guinness, The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life, 2003.

Even Bismarck, the supreme realist, emphasized the ultimate moral basis of realist statesmanship: “The best a statesman can do is to listen carefully to the footsteps of God, get ahold [sic] of the hem of His cloak and walk with Him a few steps of the way.”
— Henry A. Kissinger, The New Criterion, June 2012.

Bismarck had once said that a sign of the statesman is one who recognizes fate as she rushes past and grabs on to the hem of her cloak
—Robert B. Zoellick, “NAFTA and the North American Future,” prepared remarks delivered at the Baylor University, Oct. 15, 2013

Bismarck once said that “a sign of the statesman is one who recognizes fate as she rushes past and grabs on to the hem of her cloak.”
—The Rt. Hon. Byron Muldoon, “Three Amigos must revive the spirit of NAFTA,” Globe and Mail, Feb. 18, 2014.

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4 comments on “Ach, du lieber Gott in Himmel!
  1. OJM says:

    Grab the hem of Fate? I suspect most of the reptiles presently in high office would try to cop a feel as she rushed by.

  2. OJM says:

    Bismarck also said: “All za zings I haff done fur zis country und za fickers name a herring after me.”

  3. Buckwheat says:

    Kinda reminds me of what Byron once said about that Bryce chap … what wuz it? Summat like, “There’s no quote like an old reused, incorrectly attributed misquote”. Yeah, I think it wuz summat like that.

  4. turkish says:

    Reminds me of Turkish, “Before zee Germans get there.”

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