Even Daniel P. Moynihan, professor of Education and Urban Policy and U.S. ambassador to India, must feel flattered by an offer of a high State Department position from Henry A. Kissinger '50. And even Moynihan must eat up the publicity which arises from speculation about such an offer.
Which is probably why Moynihan has allowed speculation that Kissinger asked him to be special counselor.
Moynihan leaves for Japan this morning, and he still has made no official announcement of his decision. State Department officials said this week they would not make any public announcement if Moynihan rejected Kissinger's offer.
Moynihan probably never seriously considered giving up his life of luxury and the opportunity to demonstrate his diplomatic skills while remaining a safe distance from Nixon's sinking ship. While he relaxed and "immersed himself in drink" in Cambridge last week he told colleagues of his reluctance to leave a job at a time when he has "just begun to get the hang of things."
Harvey C. Mansfield Jr. '53, chairman of the Government Department, said Tuesday that Moynihan told friends at the Government Department picnic last Sunday that he was "not packing his bags."
Kissinger will announce his State Department reorganizations next week. And, unless yesterday's late afternoon meeting with President Nixon changed Moynihan's mind, Moynihan will be comfortably settling back into the Indian scene by then.
Moynihan was first appointed ambassador to India in December 1972, following Richard Nixon's landslide election victory. He took a two-year leave of absence from Harvard and left for India in January.
"President Nixon said to me, 'India is the world's largest democracy and I'd like you to go as our ambassador,"'Moynihan said at the time of his appointment. "And I certainly didn't have any way out of that."
Moynihan had previously served the Nixon Administration as a domestic affairs adviser to the President.