You don’t say!

I like Brian Mulroney a teeny, tiny bit more due to the humility required for this:

Brian Mulroney has realized he made a “colossal mistake” in taking $300,000 in cash from German businessman Karlheinz Schreiber when the former prime minister left political office more than a decade ago and has regretted it almost ever since, his spokesman said yesterday.

Luc Lavoie told CanWest News Service that when Mr. Mulroney left politics in 1993, he had money pressures since he was “not a rich man” at the head of a young family with certain lifestyle expectations…

Mr. Lavoie, a former journalist, said Mr. Mulroney privately makes no secret about the matter that “this is the silliest thing he’s ever done.”

— Jack Aubry, “Mulroney admits taking cash a ‘colossal mistake’“. Ottawa Citizen, November 21st, 2007.

Well yeah.  Did you think that once you’d left public life, the news hounds were going to stop digging?  Wise up.

I’m also not a rich man, at the head of a young family with certain lifestyle expectations.  When I had $300,000 in liquid assets to burn, I didn’t have it in cash, waiting to be handed off to some desperate soul who felt that the job of Prime Minister wasn’t prestigious enough to help him land a real job, afterward.

He [Mr. Lavoie] explained that any savings Mr. Mulroney had when he entered politics in 1983 were long gone 10 years later as he left office.

He said the prime minister’s salary was nowhere near comparable to the one Mr. Mulroney earned as president of a major corporation, Iron Ore Company, prior to his political career.

“So when he left, he had no money. He was optimistic, he was going back to his old law firm, but there is a difference between optimistic and having the revenue,” said Mr. Lavoie.

“So the man kind of — I wouldn’t say ‘anguished’ — but worried about how the future would unfold.”

Funny, I would have thought that a young conservative exec would have saved his pennies and put something away for the future.  Retirement funds, the kids’ university expenses, home upgrades, and so on.  Twenty years from now I guarantee you we’re not going to hear about Mike Harris‘ panicky “What will I do now?!” last-minute deals with shady German hucksters.

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