Lively land

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

That was for­mer Sen. John B. Breaux, Louisiana Demo­crat, shak­ing hands May 12 with Chilean Am­bas­sador Mar­i­ano Fer­nan­dez at Ceiba restau­rant on 14th Street in North­west D.C. be­fore the two went to their sep­a­rate ta­bles, the for­mer lunch­ing with his new lob­by­ing part­ner, for­mer Repub­li­can Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Trent Lott of Mis­sis­sippi.

Mr. Breaux and Mr. Lott, along with their sons Chet Lott and John B. Breaux Jr., ear­lier this year launched the Breaux-Lott Lead­er­ship Group, ped­dling strate­gic ad­vice, con­sult­ing and lob­by­ing to a wide range of clients.

As for Chile’s am­bas­sador to the U.S., who has been in his diplo­matic post for nearly two years, he moved into Ceiba’s private din­ing room, where he hosted a Chilean culi­nary lunch for in­vited guests. And what im­presses the am­bas­sador most about Wash­ing­ton?

“One, it’s the most im­por­tant cap­i­tal of the world,” an­swered Mr. Fer­nan­dez, rav­ing about the his­tory and beauty of the city, the lack of sky­scrapers, the many mu­se­ums and the wealth of fine din­ing.

As for pol­i­tics, he told Inside the Belt­way that he has just fin­ished writ­ing an Op-Ed for a Chilean news­pa­per about the 2008 U.S. pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, which he finds “fas­ci­nat­ing.”

“There are so many dif­fer­ent con­texts,” he noted. “For the first time since [John F.] Kennedy, you will have a sen­a­tor as your pres­i­dent. For the first time, you have a black can­di­date, [Barack] Obama, and a wo­man can­di­date, [Hil­lary Rod­ham] Clin­ton. You have one of the old­est can­di­dates ever, [John] McCain, who de­fied all the fore­casts of the polls. This is such a lively democ­racy.”

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