By Matthew Yglesias
You may know John Podesta as the founder and CEO of the Center for American Progress and a former White House Chief of Staff. But my boss is, as Politico points out, first and foremost a brutal killer:
Talk of pig roasting and slaughter kept popping up during dinner and was the last tale Podesta told before the guests left. To earn money while attending law school at Georgetown, he spent two years working at Turkey Run Farm in McLean, now called the Claude Moore Colonial Farm, an 18th-century re-creation.
He dressed in britches, a blousy linen shirt, floppy hat and homemade shoes and learned how to butcher and roast a pig.
Standing in the kitchen and acting out his role, Podesta explained: “It’s best to do the butchering at 4 a.m., “because pigs should be slaughtered when it is cool, and it takes a long time to roast them. The pig is hauled on a front-end loader in order to split and gut it. It’s most important to slow the pig down by shooting it between the eyes so you can cut its throat. It makes the pig less ornery and a whole lot more cooperative than if you just stick a knife in its throat.”
In homage to these skills, Podesta used to have a picture of a pig on a spit as his screen saver, but his staffers made him get rid of it, because he said: “They couldn’t stand looking into the pig’s eyes during meetings.”
This kind of talk is a good way to maintain discipline around the office.