Bob Rubin sex scandal: He can’t get past second base

By Felix Salmon
April 30, 2010

Now this is what we really need on a Friday afternoon: a Bob Rubin sex scandal!

It’s all based on a whopping 3,500-word blog entry from Iris Mack, who had a long relationship with Bob Rubin which involved hundreds of phone calls, a few dates, the occasional “cuddle” — and no sex.

The post itself leaves the question of whether or not sex occurred slightly ambiguous, but I’ve cleared the matter up with Moe Tkacik, who helped Mack write the story, and the fact is that although Rubin clearly wanted sex, he never got it.

Mack says that Rubin behaved like a “bratty teenager”, and that she finally got disgusted enough with him to go public after she watched his dreadful performance in front of the FCIC. But not before this:

“Do you want to go upstairs and…cuddle?”

So that’s what this is about. For a moment I was totally speechless and had to dig into my Harvard trained PhD brain to figure out what the hell he meant by “cuddling”! What can I say; once a teetotaling math geek, always a bit slow to pick up on signals from the menfolk. So the former Treasury Secretary had a “crush” on me! And not long afterward the former Treasury Secretary had his tongue down my throat and hands everywhere sort of like an octopus. But as soon as the thought entered my mind — the former Treasury Secretary has his tongue down my throat?! — I came to my senses a bit and awkwardly went back home before we both got too carried away. This is to say, I said to myself that there would be no other former Treasury Secretary appendages entering any other of my orifices.

Rubin’s reputation has been in tatters for a while now, but that doesn’t stop him from having a lot of influence in the White House. I suspect that’s going to change now that no one’s going to be able to look at him without thinking of him jetting down to Miami on a booty call — and then failing to close the deal.

Meanwhile, Rubin’s professional reputation should be hurt by this, too:

It was a hellish season back at the Citigroup office; a few days after that first call a powerful analyst had put out a damning report all but declaring Citigroup insolvent, some regulators were already calling to break up the bank and the disgraced CEO Chuck Prince was negotiating his golden parachute.

But none of this seemed to require Bob Rubin to actually do very much. On November 1 he called me four times as I was leaving for a conference in Raleigh; first while I was packing, then in the cab to the airport, then again before I went through security, then again when I was supposed to land. When I had to put the phone away he acted like a little kid who’d been told it was bedtime, and said he would call me again when I got to my destination.

“Don’t you have work to do, Mr. Chairman?” I joked during our third call.

“I’m the chairman of the executive committee,” he specified.

“What the hell does that mean?” By then I was confused.

“It means the word ‘chairman’ is in the title and I get paid very handsomely, but I don’t have any actual managerial responsibilities.” He seemed pleased.

“Well excuse moi,” I shot back. “Nice work if you can get it!”

Three days after this chat, Prince resigned, forcing Bob Rubin to add an additional chairmanship — of the board — to his business cards. But he kept calling me all the while.

Of course, Rubin is retired now — although his Hamilton Project is still going on. I wonder how he’ll deal with this the next time he goes into his office there.

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