Our Own Cool Hand Luke

Charles Krauthammer, "Our Own Cool Hand Luke," The Washington Post, April 29, 2005.


Kristol’s influence and intellect and importance to the political history of our time are well known. The most remarkable and least known thing about him, however, is his temperament. He is a man of unique equanimity. His preternaturally even temperament betrays not a hint of angst, bitterness or anguish. He is not a happy warrior, just a calm and confident one; not Hubert Humphrey, but Cool Hand Luke.

This makes him unusual among conservatives, because conservatives tend to believe that the world is going to hell, and that tends to make them grumpy. But not Kristol. Both on the field of battle and off, he always retains a serenity and grace that express themselves in a courtliness and a quiet (yet devastating) humor.

The Washington Post