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Dec 202012
 

Bruce Oreck / Facebook(WASHINGTON) — U.S. Ambassador to Finland Bruce Oreck is offering Helskini “a different take on the elder statesman” for the holidays.

Oreck posted a special edition of the embassy’s 2012 holiday card, featuring his bulging bicep, to his official Facebook account Tuesday and reportedly also mailed copies of it to friends.

The image comes from a photo shoot Oreck did last month for the Finnish fitness magazine “ProBody.” A similar shot donned the cover of the Dec. 4 issue, which included an interview with the ambassador.

“I say 60 is the new 40. My wife says, in my case, 60 is the new 58,” Oreck said of the shoot in a Facebook post. “One way or the other, fitness is important.”

How does he keep his arms so big?  Oreck offered this advice to Finns in a video on the ProBody blog: “You never get to stop. You’ve got to do it every day – or all the time, I should say, for the rest of your days. That’s how it counts. Can’t quit now.”

Bruce Oreck, whose father is vacuum-maker David Oreck, was appointed ambassador by President Obama in 2009.  He was one of Obama’s top campaign financiers four years ago, bundling more than $500,000 in donations for the 2008 election.

The U.S. Embassy’s official holiday card also includes the ambassador’s wife, Cody Oreck.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Dec 042012
 

GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — As part of a second-term shakeup of his diplomatic corps, President Obama is reportedly considering the appointment of Vogue editor-in-chief and major campaign donor Anna Wintour as U.S. ambassador to Great Britain or France.

Sources cited by Bloomberg News’ Hans Nichols said Wintour, 63, is among a handful of top Obama financiers interested in the posts, which have become choice presidential rewards for elite political supporters.

Obama is also said to be eyeing campaign finance chairman Matthew Barzun and investment banker Marc Lasry for diplomatic appointments, according to Bloomberg.

All three figures — Wintour, Barzun and Lasry — are Obama bundlers, each raising more than $500,000 for his 2012 re-election bid, according to estimates provided by the Obama campaign.

Vogue spokeswoman Megan Salt would not confirm whether Wintour has been approached about a diplomatic job, or whether she’d consider it, telling ABC News that Wintour is “very happy with her current job.”

Neither Lasry nor Barzun, 42, the former U.S. ambassador to Sweden, could be reached for comment.  A White House official did not immediately respond to an ABC News request for comment.

Rumors of an official post for Wintour have swirled for months, following her high-profile role in hosting star-studded Obama fundraising events and pushing a grassroots campaign fundraising contest.

Wintour, actress Gwyneth Paltrow and designer Tom Ford hosted a $15,000-per-plate fundraiser for Obama in London on Sept. 19, according to an invitation obtained by the Sunlight Foundation.

She also co-hosted a $40,000-per-plate fundraising dinner at the New York City home of actress Sarah Jessica Parker in June and a $35,800-a-head event at the Connecticut home of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein in August.  Obama attended both events.

During the 2008 campaign, Obama spoke out against the influence of special interests inside the executive branch, criticizing those who had “turned our government into a game only they can afford to play.”

Still, as iWatch News reported last year, many of Obama’s 2008 campaign bundlers received prestigious appointments and exclusive access.

Telecom executive and Obama financier Donald Gips became the ambassador to South Africa.  The current U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom, Louis Susman, was a fundraising machine for Obama’s 2008 run.

And in April, Obama nominated Timothy Broas, who also raised more than $500,000 for Obama four years ago, to be the next ambassador to the Netherlands.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Dec 042012
 

GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — As part of a second-term shakeup of his diplomatic corps, President Obama is considering the appointment of Vogue editor-in-chief and major campaign donor Anna Wintour as U.S. ambassador to Great Britain or France.

The news, which has been confirmed by ABC News, was first reported by Bloomberg News’ Hans Nichols, who said Wintour, 63, is among a handful of top Obama financiers interested in the posts, which have become choice presidential rewards for elite political supporters.

Vogue spokeswoman Megan Salt would not confirm whether Wintour has been approached about a diplomatic job, or whether she’d consider it, telling ABC News that Wintour is “very happy with her current job.”

Obama is also said to be eyeing campaign finance chairman Matthew Barzun and investment banker Marc Lasry for diplomatic appointments, according to Bloomberg.

All three figures – Wintour, Barzun and Lasry – are Obama bundlers, each raising more than $500,000 for his 2012 re-election bid, according to estimates provided by the Obama campaign.

Vogue spokeswoman Megan Salt would not confirm whether Wintour has been approached about a diplomatic job, or whether she’d consider it, telling ABC News that Wintour is “very happy with her current job.”

Neither Lasry nor Barzun, 42, the former U.S. ambassador to Sweden, could be reached for comment.  A White House official did not immediately respond to an ABC News request for comment.

Rumors of an official post for Wintour have swirled for months, following her high-profile role in hosting star-studded Obama fundraising events and pushing a grassroots campaign fundraising contest.

Wintour, actress Gwyneth Paltrow and designer Tom Ford hosted a $15,000-per-plate fundraiser for Obama in London Sept. 19, according to an invitation obtained by the Sunlight Foundation.

She also co-hosted a $40,000-per-plate fundraising dinner at the New York City home of actress Sarah Jessica Parker in June and a $35,800-a-head event at the Connecticut home of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein in August. Obama attended both events.

During the 2008 campaign, Obama spoke out against the influence of special interests inside the executive branch, criticizing those who had “turned our government into a game only they can afford to play.”

Still, as iWatch News reported last year, many of Obama’s 2008 campaign bundlers  received prestigious appointments and exclusive access.

Telecom executive and Obama financier Donald Gips became the ambassador to South Africa. The current U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom, Louis Susman, was a fundraising machine for Obama’s 2008 run.

And in April, Obama nominated Timothy Broas, who also raised more than $500,000 for Obama four years ago, to be the next ambassador to the Netherlands.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio