THE THING I FOUND MOST AMAZING ABOUT THE BILL BENNETT STORY:
It wasn't the gambling habit but the fact that he could plunk down 8 mill and not miss it. In our lifetime political discussion have become entertainment and celebrity and with it comes all the riches formerly due - or perhaps in excess of - a medium grade Hollywood movie star. It's hard to imagine Walter Lippmann, despite having been America's only big league pundit for half a century, earning enough from his political commentary to afford the gambling habit of a Turkish pasha.
I don't begrudge Mr. Bennett a cent of what he spent. He earned it, it didn't come out of my or anybody else's pocket unless they were willing to buy his books or pay for his time and he's free to spend it any way he chooses. If instead of gambling in Vegas Bennett gambled on -say - the value of a Monet bought at auction going up - no one would have a second thought about it but fundamentally the operating principle of speculation is the same. It's also nice to see someone reaping the rewards of being smart and well educated instead of for ball-handling skills and 40 yard dash times.
He may take a hit on the virtues thing however.