I understand that McSweeney’s is soliciting short-short stories regarding or otherwise featuring David Gergen. Below is a letter of recommendation that I wrote last year for Mr. Gergen in order to assist him in securing employment. I realize that this isn’t exactly a ‘story,’ but I think your readers may find it useful, particularly those readers who are unfamiliar with Mr. Gergen and his many accomplishments – or readers who are looking to hire someone with Mr. Gergen’s credentials. I note that the letter is not addressed to a particular person and is not dated. This is so that Mr. Gergen can make copies of the letter and distribute them to prospective employers as required.

Dear ________________:

I am writing this letter on behalf of Mr. David Gergen, who is seeking employment with your organization. I recommend Mr. Gergen to you enthusiastically and without reservation.

I have been an avid reader of Mr. Gergen’s columns and a devoted watcher of his television appearances for many years. I have also been a subscriber to U.S. News and World Report, to which Mr. Gergen is a regular contributor, although my subscription has recently lapsed. (I certainly intend to renew as soon as things settle down around here.) I also understand that Mr. Gergen served as an advisor to both Presidents Bush and Clinton, although I am not as familiar with this facet of his career as I am with his columns and television appearances, some of which I have recorded (but don’t ask me where they are because this place is a bit disorganized right now). As you probably know, President Bush is a Republican and President Clinton is a Democrat and is the current President.

Mr. Gergen is highly intelligent, articulate and about fifty-three. When he expresses his opinions (he has many), you always say to yourself “that guy really knows what he’s talking about.” That’s how smart and articulate he is. He is also virtuous and ethical – qualities which are too often overlooked these days. Although I am not familiar with the specific business of your organization, I am certain that Mr. Gergen would be a valuable employee (unless your business involves heavy lifting or illegal chemical disposal). Mr. Gergen is a self-starter who needs very little supervision or oversight. If you give him a task, you can be confident that it will be done and done right – THE FIRST TIME.

At this point, I would like to give you an example of exactly what I’m talking about. Just last week (it might have been several weeks or months ago), Mr. Gergen was on television along with David Broder, who is also a highly respected political pundit. They were talking about politics and fiscal policy and I just had to record it so I could analyze it later. Now, I hardly ever record stuff from television, but I really wanted to record Mr. Gergen’s opinions because he’s so smart. See what I mean?

I am not certain where Mr. Gergen is working now, but I do know that it will be a great loss to that place when he leaves there. I state confidently and without reservation that if you hire him, Mr. Gergen will be an asset to your organization and an outstanding employee (subject to the heavy lifting and chemical disposal exceptions mentioned above). Mr. Gergen is always appropriately dressed and well groomed.

It has truly been an honor to write this letter on Mr. Gergen’s behalf, and it is my hope that I have adequately conveyed my esteem for him. If there are any questions you have or if there are any matters which I have failed to address here, please feel free to contact me. If you send me a letter, write “Re David Gergen” on the outside so I know what it’s about.

Jude Walsh