An old saying of Washington, D.C., is that a politician or a bureaucrat “came to do good and stayed to do well.” In other words, the individual came to do good (for others), but stayed to do well (for himself or herself) with a well-paid lobbying job or other perk of the position. The saying has been cited in print since at least 1967.
An earlier saying is that Hawaiian missionaries “came to do good (for native Hawaiians) and stayed to do well (for the missionaries).” Turkish-Saudi Arabian arms-dealer and businessman Adnan M. Khashoggi said (in a quote often wrongly attributed on the internet to essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson) by at least 1990: “Doing well as a result of doing good. That’s what capitalism is all about, isn’t it?”
By Sir Ronald Storrs
London: Nicholson & Watson
They were cynically said to have come to Jerusalem to do good, and stayed to do well.
Google News Archive
18 September 1959, St. Petersburg (FL) Times, “Sleepy Lahaina: Capital of Kings” by Horace Sutton, Sunda Magazine, pg. 20, col. 2:
It’s an old saw in Hawaii that the missionaries who came to do good, stayed to do well.
The New York times guide to the Nation’s Capital
By Alvin Shuster
Washington, DC: R.B. Luce
... of Government girls who came looking for romance and fell in love with Capitol Hill, of intellectuals who came to do good and stayed to do well.
The Presidents’ men;
White House assistants of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson
By Patrick Anderson
Garden City, NY: Doubleday
Clark Clifford and Tom Corcoran are only two prominent examples of men who, in the classic phrase, came to Washington to do good and stayed to do well.
Google News Archive
6 August 1980, Rock Hill (SC) Herald, “Voice of Business” by Richard L. Lesher (President, Chamber of Commerce of the United States), pg. 4, col. 5:
Sowell, a professor of economics at the University of California at Los Angeles, has written of these government programs: “Obviously, there are a lot of middlemen who get theirs: Administrators, researchers, consultants, staffers, etc., These are the army of people who ‘take care’ of the poor in a variety of ways. Such caretakers are the modern equivalent of the missionaries who came to do good and stayed to do well. It is no accident that the highest income counties in the United States are the suburbs of Washington, D.C. Poverty is the cause of much of that affluence.”
9 May 1986, Newsday (Long Island, NY), “Deaver Stayed In Washington To Do Real Well” by Dale McFeatters, pg. 90:
THERE’S a Washington saying about the world-savers who come into the capital every four years: They came to do good and stayed to do well.
Calling it a day:
Daily meditations for workaholics
By Robert D Larranaga
San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row
“Doing well as a result of doing good. That’s what capitalism is all about, isn’t it?” — Adnan M. Khashoggi
The Character of Nations:
How politics makes and breaks prosperity, family, and civility
By Angelo Codevilla
New York, NY: BasicBooks
The saying about New Deal politicians in Washington—they came to do good and they stayed to do well—is applicable generally.
The Logic of Human Destiny
By Robert Wright
New York, NY: Vintage Books
There is a famous putdown applied to public servants who begin their careers with high ideals and wind up corrupted: they “came to do good and stayed to do well.”
Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court
By Jeffrey Toobin
New York, NY: Anchor Books
The career of Jay Sekulow was following a classic Washington trajectory: he came to the capital to do good and stayed to do well.
He Went To Do Good And Stayed To Do Well
Posted by Steve on July 20, 2010 6:59 AM
The saying is that “he went to Washington to do good and stayed to do well” and the first name that popped into my mind was Charlie Bass. C-Bass epitomizes this ruling class cultural maxim. He promised you term limits then changed his mind.
New York City • Government/Law/Politics • (0) Comments • Sunday, July 25, 2010 • Permalink