The job requires no heavy lifting — Bermuda’s population is less than 70,000 — and you don’t need to be confirmed by the Senate.
Sure, you’re not going to be called “Mr. Ambassador” or be able to use “The honorable” before your name (although some people do).
Even so, mega-contributors such as
, a former Democratic National Committee finance chairman, have coveted the post for years, in part because of the splendor of the seaside manse: a 10,000-square-foot main house with three guest cottages and a staff cottage — 15 bedrooms and 19 bathrooms in all.
You get private beaches, terraced gardens, amazing water views and a huge swimming pool on the 14-acre estate. Did we mention the wood-burning pizza oven?
And the only thing you’ve got to do is throw a Fourth of July party and invite about 3,000 people. (Must be a big oven.)
And you play host to lots of guests. These reportedly have included President George H.W. Bush
, Vice President
John F. Kerry
(D-Mass.), the late senator
Edward M. Kennedy
(D-Mass.), former senator
Christopher J. Dodd
(D-Conn.), former secretaries of state
Colin L. Powell
Henry A. Kissinger, and actress
But, in a fit of budgetary zeal, the State Department sold it anyway, for a lousy $12 million, and moved the consul general to a virtual bungalow in town with no views.
Bad enough to shatter our dreams, but then, browsing Tuesday’s edition of the island’s online paper, the Royal Gazette, we were stunned to see this: “A former home of the U.S. consul general has been put up for sale with a $45 million price tag.”
Nearly four times what the State Department sold it for? Next time maybe they’ll listen. Probably not.
Wining, dining, pipelining
Rep. Louie Gohmert
, patron saint of amorous wildlife? The Texas Republican, who’s not known as a champion of animal rights, says his primary concern in the development of a massive Alaskan oil pipeline is the love lives of the caribou surrounding the project.
Gohmert launched into a lecture during a House Natural Resources Committee
meeting last week about the need to protect the poor caribou. But here’s the catch: The evil force against which he wants to defend the creatures is the halting of the flow of oil through the pipeline. That, he says, would be akin to throwing cold water on what sounds like a randy spring-break party happening among Alaska’s caribou population.
It seems that Gohmert is something of an expert on animal husbandry. Here’s his theory: The caribou very much enjoy the warmth the pipeline radiates. “So when they want to go on a date, they invite each other to head over to the pipeline,” he informed his colleagues. It’s apparently the equivalent of being wined and dined. And that has resulted in a tenfold caribou population boom, he concluded.