Luxembourg - landing pad for American bundlers

By Laurie Bennett

July 28, 2011 at 11:52am

Where do bundlers go to lick their chops after successful political campaigns?

A consistent answer is Luxembourg, the tiny country wedged between Belgium, Germany and France.

So when Cynthia Stroum, the first Obama bundler-turned-U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg, left after a short but stormy stint, the president nominated another bundler, Robert Mandell.

This is a long tradition. Only three of the people named to the post in the past six decades have been seasoned foreign service officers.


Many of the others, beginning with the illustrious socialite Perle Mesta, were politically connected and rich. Mesta, a millionaire known for her Washington parties, was envoy to Luxembourg from 1949 to 1953.

The post was elevated to ambassador status after her tenure.

Those who’ve held the job since include:

· Clay Constantinou, who raised money for the Bill Clinton, John Kerry and Michael Dukakis presidential bids.

· Peter Terpeluk Jr., a fundraiser for George W. Bush and former finance chairman of the Republican National Committee.

· Ann Wagner, former Missouri Republican Party chair and co-chair of the RNC.

· Stroum, a Seattle financier and daughter of Samuel Stroum, founder of ALMAC/Stroum Electronics.

Stroum raised more than half a million dollars for Obama’s 2008 campaign. She resigned after complaints about a bullying management style and lavish spending.

A State Department report found that some staffers were so unhappy during her stay that they requested transfers to Iraq and Afghanistan.

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