There are traditional holiday cards and then there are non-traditional cards. There surely are none more non-traditional than the one sent out by our man in Finland, Ambassador Bruce Oreck.
Oreck, a lawyer and son of famed vacuum cleaner manufacturer David Oreck, was a major Obama bundler and Democratic contributor before getting the appointment to Helsinki.
He’s also a former professional bodybuilder, and known amongst his friends to be somewhat irrepressible. So when one friend got the muscle-man’s holiday card a few days ago, he took it to be the official embassy card and thought Oreck had indeed “lost his mind.”
But then he opened the “official” embassy card — which features Oreck and his wife in formal attire — and realized ”it was just Bruce being Bruce.”
As another Oreck friend noted: “Bruce has a great sense of humor.” The gag card, we were told, had a limited distribution to his friends.
Oreck’s also an adventurous sort, once hitching a ride with a Finnish Air Force pilot to cruise in an F-18D Hornet and recounting the trip in his online journal.
And lest there be any question, we checked with embassy spokesman David McGuire, who assured us “there is no photo- shopping: that is his real arm.”
Oreck, we were told, “places tremendous emphasis on staying in shape.” The photo is taken from a recent shoot Oreck did with ProBody Magazine, a Finnish fitness publication.
“. . .The ProBody article was about his philosophy that 60 is the new 40 and maintaining fitness has become all the more important,” McGuire said, adding that Oreck “is a big man with an outsized personality to match,” making him “an extremely popular ambassador” in Finland.
As one Oreck pal said: “If you had arms like that you would run a sleeveless picture of yourself in every column!”
Well, we prefer not to show off.