Robert Zimmerman’s Rematch Resume vs. George Santos

I Shall Be Brief Cartoon by Dan Rattiner
Cartoon by Dan Rattiner

There’s been much talk about Republican Congressman-elect George Santos who won in the November 2022 election to represent New York’s 3rd Congressional District here on Long Island. Santos won by focusing on his remarkable resume rather than what he might do about the important issues facing the citizenry of the island. His district covers the Gold Coast of Manhasset, Glen Cove along with Huntington and a small piece of northern Queens. He won by 8 percentage points.

There’s been far less coverage of the Democratic candidate he beat, Great Neck and Southampton’s Bob Zimmerman, who, as a CNN and Fox commentator, is well known in the Hamptons for his work ethic, fundraising efforts and friendly personality. He’s a supporter of charities, an accomplished speaker and an effective proponent of those his marketing firm represents. Many say he’d have been a great congressman.

Why Zimmerman lost is a topic of discussion. He did focus on the issues. Abortion, jobs, voting rights, gun violence and transportation. But he never focused on his resume. Santos did and it’s impressive.

Born into poverty in Queens, Santos said he went to Baruch College and New York University (NYU), and after graduation worked for Goldman Sachs and Citibank in their finance departments, eventually becoming partner one at a time in other financial institutions. With his newfound wealth he became the owner of 13 buildings in New York City and contributed to charitable causes which honored his Jewish and Brazilian heritage (father and mother respectively). A supporter of former President Donald Trump, he lost four employees at the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando. He also founded a charity that held fundraisers to rescue puppies and dogs, eventually saving 2,500 of them, he said.

Since, as it turned out, none of what he claimed was true, there are many people demanding Santos denounce his victory and participate in a rematch with Zimmerman during January.

If that happens, Zimmerman will surely focus more on his own heritage, which, as it turns out, is also impressive.

Zimmerman was also born into poverty. The only son of an undocumented Mexican mother who lived in Friendlytown, the shabby squatter village in Oyster Bay (recently bulldozed down), with her also undocumented Ukrainian father. He became a child prodigy on the piano. When he was observed in a store at the age of 3 playing his nursery rhymes without instruction, a piano was found for him at a nearby garbage dump.

He was tickling the ivories with Mozart and Beethoven by the age of 7. Getting accepted to Great Neck South High School — the best school in the state — because his mother cleaned houses for a wealthy woman in Great Neck who, seeing the situation, helped out. He became the state champion in weightlifting as a junior, and in his senior year became inspired listening to a lecture at the school given by boxing’s heavyweight champion George Foreman.

As a result, Zimmerman, on his own, designed the wildly popular George Foreman’s Lean Mean Fat-Reducing Grilling Machine, which made a fortune for Foreman — and won early recognition as an inventor for the young lad.

After college at Yale, where he was Valedictorian (and fencing champion), he did his doctoral work in science at MIT and finance at Wharton, after which he founded Uber, PayPal, JetBlue, AirBnB and U-Haul. Joining the Air Force, he went off to war in Afghanistan, saw action as a colonel, and then, coming home, joined Lockheed to design the stealth bomber.

Still hungry for knowledge though, he went to Harvard Law School and after passing the bar, became the attorney who organized the Me Too movement, then led the team at the Livermore Lab in California developing the new form of electricity called Fusion. (The breakthrough came in mid-December.)

In spite of all this, Zimmerman remains humble. In his new book Humility he discusses his two biggest, but until this date, never-revealed failures. Everyone knows that Neil Armstrong was the first to land on the moon. What has been kept secret until now however, is that 12-year-old scientific genius Zimmerman was also secretly on that trip. His job was to parachute down and set up landing lights on the airstrip where Armstrong was to land.

Zimmerman had designed these lights, and they had worked during a test, but on that day, when Zimmerman pulled the switch, they failed to turn on, and so were never mentioned in the triumphant report written later about that fateful day.

Zimmerman also underestimated the line of expensive shopping centers and stores that today mark an exclusive part of Northern Boulevard in Manhasset. When he first proposed it at age 17, he called it the “Miracle Half-Mile.” However, when others changed the name to the “Miracle Mile,” he asked that his name be taken off the project, which it was.

The time that Zimmerman almost became pope is also discussed in this book: The obligatory white puff of smoke that gets emitted by the cardinals to announce that a new pope has been chosen turned out to be only light gray when Zimmerman’s name came up, and so his nomination failed at the time.

Zimmerman’s charitable works? Simply too many to mention. Read the book. Then vote when the time comes and throw that scoundrel Santos out.

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