Web Exclusives:

Tooke's Take

a PAW web exclusive column by Wes Tooke '98 (email: cwtooke@princeton.edu)

October 25, 2000:

Finding Hal 2000
More ignorant suggestions from our young correspondent

So we won't have old Hal Shapiro to kick around anymore. After years of glorious sideline heckling, things just got much more difficult for us critics - the next time Peter Singer advocates clubbing bunnies or the inner tube water polo team loses to Harvard and Penn in the same year, we're going to have to find another scapegoat to chastise in our letters to PAW.

Although I'm certain that Princeton will form its usual barrage of search committees to scrape under every academic rock for Hal's replacement, I feel compelled to offer a few choice candidates for consideration. Please note that I have made these suggestions with my usual level of insight and tact. (For newcomers to the column, that would be none.)

Dennis Miller

Current Job: Commentator for Monday Night Football

Pros: For starters, Dennis will probably be looking for a new gig by early January. Additionally, his ability to generate amusing quotes will prove invaluable to my favorite oppressed group - local journalists. (A Prince lead: President Miller, describing Houseparties weekend, said yesterday, "The last time I saw this many drunk preppies was when the Republicans won Congress.")

Cons: Only the classics department will be able to understand some of his references.

Suggestion: President of the university may be a stretch. Instead, give him a tenure track position in the English department and watch him fight Elaine Showalter for publicity.


Current Job: Professional Wrestler

Pros: Just imagine a trustee meeting during Steve Forbes '70's next ill-advised run for the presidency. Forbes pats the table and squeaks, "So long as the biology department continues to teach evolution, I shall not give another dime to this university." Manchild, without making a noise or raising a fuss, grabs Forbes by the crotch and throat and tosses him out the window.

Cons: Manchild probably doesn't have a college degree, and his book - which briefly perched atop the New York Times bestseller list - demonstrated an utter ignorance of even the basic components of the English language.

Suggestion: He may be a better fit for Brown.

Al Gore

Current Job: Vice President

Pros: Although Hal was good at fundraising, he missed some critical demographic groups. Buddhist nuns, for example.

Cons: We're already had one stuffed president.

Suggestion: Princeton should never hire a guy classless enough to french his wife on national television. Or, worse yet, who thinks that being the inspiration for Love Story is an admirable thing. Let the stiff run the country.

Bill Carmody

Current Job: Head basketball coach of Northwestern University

Pros: Maybe if we offer him the job of president, he'll also find time to coach the basketball team.

Cons: The faculty probably doesn't have the attention span to learn the intricacies of the Princeton offense.

Suggestion: Without Gloger and Young, the team is in trouble anyway. Let Carmody discover how much fun it is to be the Yale of the Big 10.


Current Job: Transient writer (read, unemployed)

Pros: I think I have a fundamental understanding of the four words that make Princeton great: Free Beer For Everyone. I pledge to follow Hal's example and tinker at the fringes of the club system while allowing undergraduates to remain as stupid as they want to be. And no more foolish wristbands at Reunions - your eight-year-old son will be able to get as hammered as he wants under a Tooke administration.

Cons: The politics department shall feel my wrath for its reaction to my creative thesis. All shall fall before the sword. And six months after I retire, Princeton will face NCAA sanctions for the BMWs I gave to the basketball recruits who helped us win the national championship.

Suggestion: Hire me for minimum wage and a case of Bud Light. With the money Princeton saves on salary, the alumni office will be able to Fed-Ex every living graduate a chicken parm from Hoagie Haven every month. I promise.


After years of competent and dedicated leadership, isn't it time to change the way Princeton does business? Don't hire another dull academic. Vote Tooke.

Wes Tooke is a regular contributor to PAW Online. You can reach him at cwtooke@princeton.edu