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What Krugman Was Really Thinking

What was Paul Krugman thinking when he met President Bush last week?

Here’s a list of over 300 photo captions from readers of this blog, and another couple hundred from Marginal Revolution here (with others here and Tyler Cowen‘s favorites here).

Krugman, who graciously agreed to judge our Freako-versus-MR caption-that-photo contest, has spoken:

Actually, I think it’s a tie — but both captions come from Freakonomics.

Comment 26:

“So then I said to Cheney, ‘Duh! Piecewise continuous functions are always Riemann integrable, so just invert the matrix and use a polynomial distributed lag to eliminate the heteroskedasticity!’ What a lightweight!”

Comment 153 (subtler, with that New Yorker feel to it):

“One had longed for the Nobel Prize, the other loved being president … yet at that moment, both men felt a little empty.”

Congrats to our winners, Tim and “a student of economics.” Your schwag is on its way.

Tyler, I’ll be looking forward to you picking up the tab when we next have a chance to dine together.

I also asked Paul what was actually going through his mind at the time. His answer:

What I was actually thinking was:

1. Whether it would be a faux pas to ask Bush what nickname he had given me. I decided that it would.

2. What a great job my wife had done in making small talk about her childhood in Texas (her father had been a Republican precinct captain, and he had once hosted George H.W. Bush in his living room).

Who knew?