Al Kamen
Al Kamen
In the Loop

Romney dispenses life advice

Brad Zinn/AP - Mitt Romney, speaking at Southern Virginia University, is big on marriage and children.

Hey, kids, Mitt Romney has a little life advice for you!

People who wait until their 30s — or, gasp, their 40s — to get hitched? They’re doing it wrong, the failed GOP presidential candidate said in a commencement speech Saturday at Southern Virginia University, where most of the student body is Mormon.

Al Kamen

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993. He began his reporting career at the Rocky Mountain News and joined The Post in 1980. He has covered local and federal courts, the Supreme Court and the State Department. Follow him on Twitter.

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Was that remark caught on video at a private rally in New Hampshire about Scott Brown?

His address has somehow managed to fly relatively under the radar.

“They’re going to miss so much of living, I’m afraid,” Romney said of the sad, single losers who opt to spend their 20s without a ring. (He didn’t mention those who might want to get hitched but can’t.).

Of the Bible, he told the young folks: “When it says ‘marry,’ listen!”

He then devoted much of his talk to the graduating class talking up the benefits of having kids (and scoffing at people who’d rather pass on the life-enriching experience of raising them).

He concluded with a bit of biblically inspired advice: “Have a quiver full of kids if you can.”

Is that like a binder full of women?

The new kid at DOT

The Cabinet may be getting a little more youthful.

When President Obama announced Monday that he was nominating Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx to be his new transportation secretary, he may have ushered in a mini youth invasion. If confirmed, the 42- year-old Foxx will be the baby of the Cabinet — and he’ll become one of the younger Cabinet secretaries in history. (Coincidentally, Obama made the announcement on Foxx’s 42nd birthday — pretty nice present.)

Cabinets tend to skew slightly old, mostly because presidents draw from an experienced talent pool for those top-ranking jobs. And some secretaries come from the ranks of Washington’s most exclusive gray-haired club, the Senate.

Foxx, though, is an exception. He’s only two years older than Andrew Cuomo was when Bill Clinton made him secretary of housing and urban development — and Cuomo himself once noted that he was one of the youngest Cabinet secretaries in history.

And you have to stretch further back in the recesses of time to find other relatively young secretaries. Robert Kennedy was practically a child when he became his brother’s attorney general at 36. Bill Barr was 41 when he was named George H.W. Bush’s attorney general. Jim Burnley, transportation secretary under Ronald Reagan, was only 39. Neil Goldschmidt, transportation secretary under Jimmy Carter, also was 39.

Maybe transportation is a young man’s job?

Shining armor optional

Couldn’t make it to the British Embassy on April 16 to see former senator Richard Lugar get knighted at a ceremony presided over by the British ambassador, Sir Peter Westmacott?

By order of Queen Elizabeth herself, Lugar, whose GOP primary loss last year ended a 36-year Senate career, was named an honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. (Lugar had been a longtime member and a former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.)

Just remember, don’t call him “Sir Richard.” You have to be a royal subject for that.

If you had other obligations that night, not to worry. We just got our invitation to the German Embassy on May 8 to watch German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and Ambassador Peter Ammon give him the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Busy that night, too?

No problem. The pressure is building on the French to cough up the Legion of Honor medal. They will surely fold — maybe not with the Grand Croix, but at least the Chevalier rank?

Other NATO countries could well fall in line. Lugar might eventually get a bit weighed down wearing all his medals at those fancy balls, but for now . . .

Greener pastures

It was only a few weeks ago that David Hayes, deputy secretary at the Interior Department, confessed to the Loop that his dream job was being a golf teaching pro at Pebble Beach.

He’s getting a little closer to that fantasy gig: Hayes announced Tuesday that he’s trading Washington for Palo Alto, where he’ll be teaching at his alma mater, Stanford Law, and senior fellow-ing at the Hewlett Foundation.

Hey, it’s a teaching job — and he’s a few thousand miles closer to the famed golf course than he was on C Street NW.

In statements, newly sworn-in Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and President Obama both thanked Hayes, who had served as the No. 2 at Interior since early in Obama’s first term (a job he also held in the Clinton administration). Hayes has focused on renewable-energy production and is the department’s point person on Arctic energy development.

“David’s leadership at the Department of the Interior has played an important role in my Administration’s efforts to expand domestic energy production, including renewable energy as well as America’s oil and natural gas resources,” Obama said in a statement.

Hayes will leave in June, and we bet he’ll be packing golf clubs.

He also errs

An item about President Obama erroneously redirecting JFK’s flight home after a 1961 meeting with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev in Vienna naturally reminded Loop Fans of Vice President Biden’s apparently frequent misattribution of a line he often uses.

“While you’re in correction mode,” former “60 Minutes” producer Marion Goldin noted Tuesday, “you might want to take a look at Joe Biden’s mis-attribution of ‘they also serve who only stand and wait’ in his eulogy” for Massachusetts Institute of Technology police Officer Sean Collier, allegedly killed by the Boston Marathon bombers.

“He credited [John] Keats ,” she said. “It is, of course, John Milton .”

Of course. Well, they’re both named John?

With Emily Heil

The blog: washingtonpost.com/
intheloop
. Twitter: @InTheLoopWP.

 
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