Koppel Exits: Secretary of State?

By Brian 

“A former diplomatic correspondent,” Ted Koppel “understands the language of diplomacy,” Gail Shister writes in a Sunday Magazine profile.

“So well, in fact, that Henry Kissinger, the former secretary of state, offered him the No. 2 job in late ’75. ‘He very wisely turned it down,’ says Kissinger, 82, a longtime friend and target of one of Koppel’s classic impersonations. ‘He wanted to keep his independence.'”

Had Koppel pursued it, Kissinger says, the freckle-faced newsman with impossible hair would have made an excellent secretary of state. ‘He certainly would have handled the diplomatic, conceptual part of it brilliantly. Ted’s a very special man. I would favor him for any job available.'”

> The Record: “His nine years covering the State Department had made him a good listener, Koppel once said. ‘Foreign service officials tend to be very cautious and clever in the way they use language,’ he said. ‘Sometimes, a change in foreign policy can be signaled by the change of a single word.'”