Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Soft Drink Lawyers and Leadership

Posted by Jeff Lipshaw

I am reminded every day by the bumper sticker on a car parked along our street (between our house and thePatrick T station in Porter Square) that my new governor is Deval Patrick (left), the former general counsel of The Coca-Cola Company.  So I was impressed when I heard the other day that one of the possible replacements for Alberto Gonzales was Larry D. ThompsonLarrythompsonedu_2 (right), currently the general counsel of Pepsico, Inc.

Both, I suspect, have impressive bona fides.  And there are plenty of other companies with minority GCs (DuPont and Deere, just to name two) so that can't be it.  (Note to self:  would I ask that question if they were both Jewish or both women?  Something to think about.)  One is a Democrat; one is a Republican, so that's not it.  I would not have thought that the food, drink, and entertainment industries had particular need for "political" lawyers (versus, say, a defense contractor).  Is this just a funny coincidence?  Or does the road to political power go through the cola wars?

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I don't know about the common denominator of cola (or even Coke Zero, the taste infringer), and I don't know Thompson's background, but Patrick and Gonzales were classmates at Harvard Law School (with me, neither recalls).

The more interesting cola connection to politics, to my mind, is the fact that Richard Nixon was there in Dallas the day JFK was shot. Nixon was attending a board meeting for Pepsi. I always thought Oliver Stone should be looking for Haldeman on the grassy knoll with an umbrella.

Posted by: Alan Childress | Aug 29, 2007 8:55:15 AM

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