The recap of Robert Zimmerman’s rematch against George Santos
Much has been said about a Republican elected to Congress George Santos who won the November 2022 election to represent New York’s 3rd congressional district here on Long Island. Santos won by focusing on his stellar resume rather than what he could do about the important issues facing the citizens of the island. Its district covers the Gold Coast of Manhasset, Glen Cove with Huntington and a small part of northern Queens. He won by 8 percentage points.
There has been far less coverage of the Democratic candidate he beat, Great Neck and Southampton 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 is a supporter of charities, an accomplished speaker and an effective supporter of those his marketing business represents. Many say he would have been a great congressman.
Why Zimmerman lost is a matter of discussion. He focused on the problems. Abortion, jobs, voting rights, gun violence and transportation. But he never focused on his CV. Santos did it and it’s impressive.
Born into poverty in Queens, Santos said he went to Baruch College and New York University (NYU), and after graduating he worked for Goldman Sachs and Citibank in their departments of finance, eventually becoming partners one at a time in other financial institutions. With his newfound wealth, he became the owner of 13 buildings in New York and contributed to charitable causes that honored his Jewish and Brazilian heritage (father and mother respectively). A supporter of the former president donald trump, it lost four employees in 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 it turned out that none of what he claimed was true, many people are calling on Santos to come clean on his win and enter a rematch with Zimmerman in January.
If that happens, Zimmerman will surely focus more on his own legacy, which, ultimately, is also impressive.
Zimmerman was also born into poverty. The only son of an undocumented Mexican mother who lived in Friendlytown, the seedy squatter village of Oyster Bay (recently bulldozed), with his equally undocumented Ukrainian father. He became a child prodigy of the piano. When he was observed in a shop at the age of 3 playing his uneducated nursery rhymes, a piano was found for him in a nearby dump.
He tickled the ivories with Mozart and Beethoven at the age of 7. Getting accepted to Great Neck South High School – the best school in the state – because his mother was cleaning the houses of a wealthy Great Neck woman who, seeing the situation, helped out. He became a state weightlifting champion as a junior, and in his senior year was inspired by listening to a talk at school given by heavyweight boxing champion George Foreman.
As a result, Zimmerman single-handedly designed George Foreman’s hugely popular Lean Mean Fat-Reducing Grilling Machine, which made a fortune for Foreman — and quickly gained recognition as the young lad’s inventor.
After college at Yale, where he was valedictorian (and fencing champion), he did his doctorate in science at MIT and in finance at Wharton, after which he founded Uber, PayPal, JetBlue, AirBnB and U-Haul. Joining the Air Force, he went to the war in Afghanistan, saw action as a colonel, then, returning home, joined Lockheed to design the stealth bomber.
Always hungry for knowledge, he went to Harvard Law School and after passing the bar became the lawyer 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.)
Despite all of this, Zimmerman remains humble. In his new book Humility he discusses his two biggest failures, but until this date, never revealed. Everyone knows that Neil Armstrong was the first to land on the moon. What has been kept secret so far is that Zimmerman, a 12-year-old scientific genius, was also secretly on this 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 that day when Zimmerman pressed the switch they did not come on and were therefore never mentioned in the triumphant report written later on that fateful day.
Zimmerman also underestimated the line of malls and expensive stores that today mark an exclusive portion 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 “Miracle Mile”, he requested that his name be removed from the project, which it was.
The time when Zimmerman nearly became pope is also touched on in this book: the obligatory puff of white smoke that is emitted by cardinals to announce that a new pope has been chosen turned out to be only light gray when the Zimmerman’s name came up, and so his nomination failed at the time.
Zimmerman’s charities? Simply too numerous to mention. Read the book. So vote when the time comes and throw out that scoundrel Santos.