- Teacher who survived Sandy Hook has book deal
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in case vs. ‘American Sniper’ author Chris Kyle
- Government OKs Arab-owned company to operate U.S. cargo port
- Defense lawyer: McDonnell’s wife had ‘crush’ on CEO
- Chinese hackers stole ‘huge quantities’ of sensitive data on Israel’s Iron Dome
- House unveils bill to speed deportations of illegal immigrant children
- Californians protest middle school for hiring white man to teach cultural studies
- Killer’s sentencing overturned because mother couldn’t find seat in courtroom
- Hillary: ‘Dead broke’ comment was ‘inartful,’ but insists it was ‘accurate’
- Fla. mom arrested for allowing 7-year-old son to walk to park alone
Embassy Row: Dinner with Esther Coopersmith
Question of the Day
Foreign ambassadors to the U.S. meet the president in the Oval Office. The State Department is open to them, and members of Congress are eager to greet them.
But the diplomats, with the exalted titles of “excellency and plenipotentiary,” do not really learn the ways of Washington until they have dinner with Esther Coopersmith.
On a recent, unseasonably warm evening, Mrs. Coopersmith initiated the new ambassador from Singapore.
Ambassador Ashok Kumar Mirpuri noted he had heard about Mrs. Coopersmith’s power dinners since he and his wife, Gouri, arrived in town six months ago.
“Esther Coopersmith presents every ambassador who comes to Washington,” Mr. Mirpuri said after he took his seat as the guest of honor at a dinner with more than 50 influential Washingtonians. “Thank you for sharing your friends with us. That’s what a new ambassador needs.”
Mrs. Coopersmith, a U.S. ambassador to the U.N. in the Carter administration, has hosted top hat guests for years at her elegant townhouse just off Embassy Row.
At the dinner for Mr. Mirpuri, her guests included State Department officials, lobbyists, foreign policy specialists and journalists, along with Ambassadors Mohamed M. Tawfik of Egypt and Dino Patti Djalal of Indonesia.
“We are here to welcome a new ambassador and his lovely wife,” Mrs. Coopersmith said. “He has big steps to fill.”
Mr. Mirpuri replaced Ambassador Heng Chee Chan, who spent 16 years in Washington and was the second-longest serving foreign ambassador in the United States when she returned to Singapore last year.
Mr. Mirpuri — who has served as Singapore’s ambassador to Australia, Malaysia and, most recently, Indonesia — called Washington “the capital of the most powerful country in the world” but admitted being puzzled by the U.S. government.
“You have a confusing political system,” he said. “There’s a lot to learn about politics here.”
In his Southeast Asian city-state of 5.5 million people, politics are simpler. The People’s Action Party — with a symbol that looks like a red lightning bolt striking an Obama “O” — has won every general election since independence from Malaysia in 1965.
Kennedy for Canada?
Caroline Kennedy is the latest name in the guessing game over who will become the next U.S. ambassador to Canada.
Ms. Kennedy is the only surviving child of President John F. Kennedy, whose assassination in 1963 secured the family a legendary place in American history and bonded the Kennedy White House with visions of the mythical kingdom of Camelot.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
James Morrison joined the The Washington Times in 1983 as a local reporter covering Alexandria, Va. A year later, he was assigned to open a Times bureau in Canada. From 1987 to 1989, Mr. Morrison was The Washington Times reporter in London, covering Britain, Western Europe and NATO issues. After returning to Washington, he served as an assistant foreign editor ...
- Embassy Row: India strikes back over diplomat's arrest
- Embassy Row: India 'shocked,' 'appalled' by consular officer's arrest
- Wife of jailed U.S. Christian in Iran calls for White House help
- Embassy Row: Wife of Christian held in Iran feels abandoned by Obama
- Senate debate: Is Santa Claus an American citizen?
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- GOP Senate candidate: Obama needs to visit Central America
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Kerry's credibility questioned as fighting in Gaza rages
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in defamation case
- Rush Limbaugh: 'There is no journalism anymore'
- California's Jerry Brown cites God, 'religious call' to embrace illegals
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world