*#8220;Going through a confirmation is kind of an arcane art. I*#8217;ve had a few nominees call me and ask me for help in the confirmation process *#8211; a couple of guys at the Justice Department, and another 2-3 at the State Department that needed help,*#8221; Mr. Korologos told the National Herald, citing an undersecretary and associate attorney general who recently asked for his advice.
He instructs nominees on how to behave and what to say, as well as what to avoid saying or doing.
A registered lobbyist, Mr. Korologos served as senior counselor to Ambassador L. Paul Bremer, administrator for the Office of Coalition Provisional Authority, in
Before going to
*#8220;I moved to Washington in 1962, and except for a couple of stints *#8211; a year in Iraq and three years in Belgium *#8211; I*#8217;ve been here ever since,*#8221; he said.
He resigned from the Timmons firm when he went to
*#8220;The White House and the Pentagon called me and said, *#8216;Pack your bags. We need you in
After he came back from
Mr. Korologos, now 75, spoke Greek before he could speak English. He was born to Chris T. and Irene M. (Kolendrianos) Korologos, both of whom were originally from the
Mr. Korologos started out as a sports writer with the New York Herald Tribune, the Long Island Press, the Salt Lake Tribune and the Associated Press. He was also an officer in the U.S. Air Force from 1956 to 1957, earning a bachelor*#8217;s degree from the
He was also a senior advisor to Senator Bob Dole of
Mr. Korologos was married to Joy G. Korologos. They were married in civil court, and had three children *#8211; Paula Cale (the actress), Ann and Philip, all of whom grew up in the Mormon tradition *#8211; and five grandchildren. Joy Korologos died from melanoma in 1997. Mr. Korologos has since re-married. Ann McLaughlin, Secretary of Labor in the Reagan Administration, is his second wife. They were married at Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral in
CHOOSING THE GOP AND GROWING UP GREEK IN
Asked why he chose to be a Republican, Mr. Korologos said the traditional GOP platform resonated with him.
*#8220;We*#8217;re self-reliant, and I*#8217;m conservative. I feel government is too big, and in our pockets too often. When I was a freshman in college, I remember somebody asking what we think of federal aid for education, and I blurted out, *#8216;Federal aid means federal control. The hell with it. I want the state and school district to control my school.*#8217; I didn*#8217;t give it one second of thought,*#8221; he said.
*#8220;Most Greeks were Democrats back then; most immigrants were. They thought Franklin Roosevelt saved
Asked what he recalls about his experiences as a Greek American growing up in
*#8220;My dad owned a bar in
*#8220;It didn*#8217;t bother me, though. I became a belligerent ally of the Mormons. My first wife was a Mormon. I don*#8217;t care what you are or what religion you practice, do your own thing and leave me alone. I learned a lot about another culture growing up in
*#8220;Αnd with the Republican Party, there was a lot of luck involved. I guess I had the type of personality that made it work for me on Capitol Hill. I was press secretary for a senator, and then I became his chief of staff. And then I went to the White House for five years. I had the gift of gab. I was a good salesman. As a lobbyist, I can sell issues like some guys sell cars. And with the Greek culture and my Greek background, I had to be better than the other guy. But hard work never hurt anybody. I got there before anybody else did, and I had a saying: Be the first one at a meeting. It builds up confidence,*#8221; he added.
JOURNALISTIC EXPERIENCE CAME IN HANDY
His journalistic experience came in handy because it enhanced his knowledge and ability to discuss issues, Mr. Korologos explained, stressing that his background in sports writing was particularly valuable because it helped him relate to people on a basic human level.
*#8220;Working as a sports writer was even better because we have the freedom to do more than a dull political writer does. I had the freedom to expand and pontificate. I used to tell my kids, *#8216;I don*#8217;t care if you become a doctor or a lawyer or an Indian chief. If you can write, you*#8217;ve got a leg up on everybody else.*#8217; When you start writing, you*#8217;ve got to do your own digging and research, and that*#8217;s what helped me develop my skills and abilities,*#8221; he said.
Mr. Korologos also said the Greek American community needs more journalists, but cited modest salaries and a struggling industry as deterrents.
*#8220;Greeks have entered into every type of profession and career there is in
*#8220;But the reason I went into journalism was because I was a sports writer. I was a copy boy for the Salt Lake Tribune, and from there, it evolved to ski editor, and I covered the 1960 Winter Olympics in
Mr. Korologos eventually took a job with the Evans Advertising firm, which was handling Senator Bennett*#8217;s campaign, *#8220;so I got involved with that, and the next thing you know, he offered me a job to come to
*#8220;I was the first non-Mormon he hired. He realized they had to diversify because there were a lot of other groups in
Mr. Korologos eventually went onto become one of the Nixon Administration*#8217;s most trusted advisors on the U.S. Senate, so much so that President Ford urged him to continue serving in the same capacity after Mr. Nixon resigned.
*#8220;After Ford took office, it was time for him to get his own people in there. But the day Ford took office, which was the day Nixon left, he told me, *#8216;Look, I*#8217;m surrounded by House people. You*#8217;re the only Senate guy around here. Don*#8217;t you let anyone talk you into leaving. I need you to stay.*#8217; Well all those Nixon guys were out of a job, and I was the first guy Ford hired. It was right after he gave his *#8216;Long National Nightmare*#8217; speech.*#8217; We went into Red Room to greet senators. And he turned to me and said, *#8216;I want you to stay with me. I*#8217;ve got big Senate problems. Don*#8217;t leave.*#8217; So I stayed for a few months, and I figured that was long enough. And then Bill Timmons and I started our company,*#8221; he said.
President Ford was not happy with Mr. Korologos*#8217; decision to move on: *#8220;It is not only with the deepest regret, but also with a personal sense of loss that I accept your resignation as Deputy Assistant to the President, effective December 31, 1974, as you requested,*#8221; he wrote to Mr. Korologos in a letter dated December 18, 1974.
One of the things Mr. Korologos did while serving under President Nixon was to initiate the annual celebration of Greek Independence Day at the White House.
*#8220;I think I started the first of those events for March 25th at the White House, with everybody coming down with the Archbishop. I started doing it with Nixon. We took the AHEPA guys in, and pretty soon, Ford and Reagan were doing it, too. I didn*#8217;t go to any with Carter. I may have gone to one with
As far as the Bush Administration*#8217;s lack of sensitivity to Hellenic issues is concerned, Mr. Korologos was critical of the Greek approach. There are larger concerns at stake, he said, and he measures how much he himself ought to weigh in, adding that it*#8217;s all about the art of making a good deal.
*#8220;Each issue has to be taken in its own little context. On
But the Greeks consistently and repeatedly present their case and offer sound arguments, so why do those arguments continue to fall on deaf ears, Mr. Korologos was asked? Why does
*#8220;My view on deals is *#8211; and I*#8217;ve been a lobbyist all my life, as well as an ambassador, where all you do is continue your lobbying efforts, only this time your client is your government *#8211; when you go into a meeting, and you try to cut a deal, you*#8217;ve got to leave the room with everybody thinking they won. You shouldn*#8217;t leave a meeting with anyone feeling like he lost. You go into a meeting, and you say, *#8216;Here*#8217;s what you are getting out of this,*#8217; not with *#8216;Here*#8217;s what you*#8217;re losing.*#8217; That*#8217;s called the Belgian compromise. The Belgians were notorious for that. There wasn*#8217;t a dispute they couldn*#8217;t solve. Where you get into trouble is on a yes or no issue, and the
Asked whether he would take the opportunity to speak to Presidents about Hellenic issues and suggest reasons for modifying U.S. policies with respect thereto, Mr. Korologos said such discussions are best taken up with State Department officials and foreign ambassadors, adding that he has made efforts to keep the plight of the Ecumenical Patriarchate at the fore, and has gotten in plenty of heated discussions with Turkish officials over the years.
*#8220;You don*#8217;t go to a President and say that. You talk to State Department guys and others. They know where I*#8217;m coming from. I*#8217;m an American, born and raised in
*#8220;I*#8217;m not downgrading the Greeks. They have their policies, and so do we. When I was in
*#8220;Now having said that, the Patriarch came to my residence in
Asked what he thought about the
*#8220;I don*#8217;t know the short answer to that. American policy in the Balkans was about stability and giving the Albanians some independence. I didn*#8217;t get involved much with that, except when I was in
THE WAR IN
As far as Bush Administration*#8217;s decision to invade
he thinks it was the correct action, but said he felt the Administration could have done a better job presenting its case to the American people, most of whom now favor drastically reducing or withdrawing
*#8220;One of the problems with this Administration is that they haven*#8217;t told their story right. Nobody can be Ronald Reagan, but from the beginning, they didn*#8217;t use his formula of *#8216;say it, say it, say it and then say it again.*#8217; Regarding many of the foreign policy decisions and events that have occurred, they haven*#8217;t been policy failures, but they have been a communications failure. It hasn*#8217;t been handled with the level of efficiency that it could have been handled.
*#8220;Most foreign policy decisions and events *#8211; and this President is no different than any other *#8211; are not of his doing. Since its beginnings, America has run on ambition, morality and power, and what you end up having is outside events *#8211; whether its Russians and Berlin Walls or Korea and Vietnam *#8211; to which America responds because that*#8217;s what Americans do.
*#8220;When I was ambassador to Belgium, I used to remind the Belgians every day that we bailed them out of World War I, and then we fed them, remembering Herbert Hoover*#8217;s programs and the commission for the relief of Belgium. And then we bailed them out of World War II, and we fed them again through the Marshall Plan. Then we started NATO, and we put most of the financing into NATO to keep the Russians at bay.
*#8220;When the Tsunami disaster struck in December 2004, who were the first ones there with a bunch of aircraft carriers and C-130*#8217;s bringing in food? Americans. One of the things the Belgians used to ask to me all the time was, how come our defense budget is 3-4 percent of our GNP, while our humanitarian budget is less than 2 percent? And I used to say, 1.3 percent of what? A trillion dollar economy? 1.3 percent of that ain*#8217;t too shabby. How many aircraft carriers did
*#8220;Again, my beef with this Administration is that they didn*#8217;t get their side of the story across effectively enough. In this day and age of screaming cable television every night, and the screaming bias of most of those news guys that are covering things, no wonder it has taken a toll on the President*#8217;s popularity,*#8221; he said.
In the face of so many arguments that one has nothing to do with the other, Mr. Korologos was asked, what is the logical connection between the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the war in Iraq? What do people need to understand about the connection between the war in
*#8220;My answer to that is, September 11th occurred before
*#8220;Look what he did to
While it can be argued that Islamic extremists would use weapons of mass destruction against the West given the opportunity, Mr. Korologos was asked, has the war in
*#8220;Oh, how do you know? My short answer is, probably. The longer answer is, it*#8217;s indeed hard to predict. But I don*#8217;t operate on hypotheses. That
What about the war itself? Senator John McCain of
The prospect of democracy in the Middle East is making the whole region uneasy at the moment, he said, but it will ultimately prevail and help stabilize the region, and
*#8220;The goal was to get in and get out. That was the goal in
*#8220;The war has been costly because, internally, the different factions have been fighting for 5,000 years. The Shiites, the Sunnis and the Kurds have a tendency to want to grab for power. Those warlords see us withdrawing at some point, so they*#8217;re establishing their turf. It kind of reminds me of the mob/Mafioso mentality: *#8216;You take the south side, and we*#8217;ll take the north side.*#8217; That*#8217;s what*#8217;s going on now. Meanwhile, guys are shooting at each other. I used to take members of Congress to mass graves all over
*#8220;Saddam was in power for 25-30 years. Hitler was in power for ten. Saddam terrorized that country. He plundered it, and built 32 palaces. The infrastructure was absolutely gone. He had stolen all the money and used it for himself. He had a 500,000-man army. That*#8217;s bigger than the U.S. Army. He had 12,000 generals. He figured with that many, they couldn*#8217;t commit a coup against him. Here was a guy who let military appropriations run amok, and was ready to use them on somebody, and the whole
*#8220;For years we opted for cheap oil and stability, and we got either. So let*#8217;s try something else. Let*#8217;s go bang some heads and see if we can bring some people together. And don*#8217;t you think those Syrians, and those Yemenis and those Saudis and that whole area, and those mullahs, are sitting there saying, *#8216;Oh my God. A democracy right next door?*#8217; Give me a break. Some of those people are sitting there saying, *#8216;How come those guys over in
A growing democracy in
But can the cultural mindset of Muslims in the
*#8220;There*#8217;s no question about cultural differences, but maybe it*#8217;s not going to be a Western-style democracy. Maybe it*#8217;s going to take on another form where the people in that region all have a say. All we*#8217;re interested in are a few human rights *#8211; don*#8217;t pounce on your neighbors, and leave
*#8220;It doesn*#8217;t happen through military efforts alone, of course. The other thing you need to do is bring economic stability into the country. Not all Muslims are jihadists. Most of them want to be left alone to do their own thing. You*#8217;ve got to build some incentives. You*#8217;ve got to make some private sector loans available so a guy can go buy a bike shop or a carpenter store and set up his own business; to help people get away from the realm of poverty. Sixty percent of the population is 25 years old or younger. They need jobs. It*#8217;s not all about big manufacturing plants. It*#8217;s also about fostering a climate hospitable enough for small businesses,*#8221; he said.