The Washington Post

An ambassador’s Christmas card like no other

(Greetings from our man in Finland. )

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.

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.
Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Close video player
Now Playing