PUZZLES FLAWS & INTERPRETATIONS
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Further comments from message boards

The original script had Bailey as a senator, but that was too high a profile for the purposes of the plot. Making him a secretary was better, but not perfect: it's still a presidential cabinet position, subject to congressional approval, and therefore, subject to a certain amount of publicity. Maybe Noodles wouldn't have noticed, but someone else surely would have, and they would have raised a stink, then it would have become a news item, and then everyone would know. And why would Max, anticipating these very problems, allow himself to be put forward for confirmation in the first place? Why not have a mouthpiece operating as the secretary through whom Max could work? The one law that every old gangster knows is, Stay in the Background. Max's failure to follow this is a flaw in the logic of the plot.


But then we are assuming on the other hand that Max is a famous well known notorious gangster too. He's not Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, Dutch Shultz, or Legs Diamond, just a one time bootlegger that went legit on the surface once prohibition ended. New York had a lot of ex bootleggers and plenty of speakeasy owners that went legit, Toots Shore is one I remember off the top of my head and 21 is another.


Yeah, but you can never go legit enough to ever serve in a president's cabinet. An ex-mobster being secretary of anything would be a scandal in itself. And in America, it's not the kind of thing you could keep secret.


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