THE DORIAN LESTER FUND
(and secure the favor of a President for oneself and one's friends)
The first step on this upward spiral is to acquire a 10021 zip code address in New York City (the Waldorf Hotel is perfect, as Presidents tend to stay there during official and informal visits).
In order to afford this, you need to hail from an established moneyed family or marry into a fortune. The nouveau riche is more aggressively ambitious than his/her "to the manor born" counterpart. A nouveau riche (NR) understands, for one thing, that everyone (and especially everyone in politics) has a price, and operates on the market principle of supply and demand.
Having purchased a suitable entertaining pad on Manhattan's Upper East Side, and hired a butler from Ivor Spencer (even if the NR hasn't quite learned how to deal with the species), an NR needs to hedge their bets by donating the requisite $1,000 to each side of the political divide.
Having secured the relative benevolence of each party, Mr. or Mrs. NR needs to reaffirm their allegiance by organizing a fundraiser to which he or she has to ask their equally aspiring friends. Those can be already wealthy and socially ambitious. Or they can be lobbying for government contracts, U.S. nationality, lucrative introductions endorsed by the highest echelons of the Establishment...
An Ambassadorship is the ultimate gift to a person who has everything.
The fundraiser would typically be co-ordinated by a powerful Public Relations firm, such as Harold Rubenstein of NY, who made the mutually rewarding match between Weight Watchers and Sarah Ferguson, and who are forever engrossed in the task of brushing up Patricia Kluge's image, amongst many others.
It helps to have cultivated and courted the attentions of equally powerful media personalities, such as Deborah Norville, Frank and Kathy Lee Gifford, Oswaldo Cisnero, Helen Gurley Brown, Tina Brown, Dominick Dunne... to name but a few. Allowing Larry King to take a few liberties on the "casting couch" would come in handy too.
Currying favor with major newspaper proprietors - Katherine Graham and David Graham, Anne Murdoch, Arthur Gelb, Christopher Forbes, Mortimer Zuckerman, and last but now least, Christie Heffner, is vital. As is making friends with movie moguls - Steven Spielberg, Gotham Enterprises, Miramax (investing in some is even better). Having an affair with Gary Lieberthal is... educational? Movie making is, after all, for professionals.
A sprinkling of Senators, Delegates, Governors, and assorted politicians - both Republican and Democrat - is wise. Senators Robb, Boxer, Kerrey, and Warner... former and present Governors... Vernon Jordan, of course, is de rigueur, as is courting the Margaret Thatcher Foundation. If one lives in Virginia, having a political analyst such as Larry Sabato for regular lunches is useful.
One mustn't forget the International contingent. If such celebrities as Jeffrey Archer and Jonathan Aitken are not always reliable (they tend to get "caught with their hands in the cookie jar"), then the more discreet, wealthier and nebulous ones, from the "old country/continent", could be counted upon to subsidize the most extravagant fundraiser.
A collection of exotic names, such as the prominent Palestinians (Hanan Ashrawi), assorted expatriate Lebanese (Halaby, Dalloul, Al Sohl, Geadah, etc.)... Iraqis, Saudis, exiled Libyan princes and Iranian Royalty... in fact, all names ending in -an, -am, -ni, so long as they are supremely solvent and willing to part with their cash to support the politicians of their chosen country of occasional or permanent residence, the USA.
Above all, the high and mighty of NY society - the late Pamela Harriman, whose example of seducing her way into serious power brokering does not lend itself to emulation; Mrs. Petre, the Bloomingdales, the Hiltons, the Kramers, the Hearsts, the Annenbergs, the Taubmans, the Safras (sadly and mysteriously, Edmond Safra has been removed from the philantropic world), Alice Mason... well, you get the picture.
If your fortune/divorce settlement has not propelled you into the "big donor" league yet - forget it!
Being able to invite Sydney Poitier, Warren Beatty, Charlton Heston, and various other carefully cultivated "image glamorizers" to a well-staffed country house, where those guests can go shooting, riding, and partying, is paramount.
"Honey trapping" the community (and economy) of the county surrounding the country house is essential. It ensures favorable press, and the loyalty of the local police department (in Kluge's case, Sheriff Hawkins appears to have been a regular guest at Albemarle House).
Endowing a hospital for children, having one's lover (who happens to be the Governor) put you on the University board of visitors (and handing over a large check towards the University President's own fundraising campaign, as well as entertaining his son)... establishing a film festival to promote one's films... all of the above are part of the "honey trap".
Making a vast donation towards the favorite charity of a European Royal, and inviting them to partake of the hospitality of a motor yacht (an invitation they would feel ungracious to decline), gives the NR a credibility second to none. Never mind that the Royal in question might be classifying them as just that - an NR! - the photographs still look impressive on a mantelpiece and leave U.S. reporters rapturous.
At this point, the NR can aim for a serious fundraiser, charging their guests $5,000 for a cup of tea, and upwards of $10,000 for a rubber-chicken dinner. After a few such fundraisers, the NR can aspire to the presence of the First Lady, who would happily grace a gathering with her presence, increasing the value of tea and chicken tenfold. After all... what is money for, unless one can turn "hard" cash into "soft", and hob-nob with the most powerful couple in the world?! Not to mention all the benefits associated with such connections.
One's nationality or allegiance ceases to matter. A rich Iraqi is the peer of a captain of industry and fast deals are made with the tacit blessing of the court of Presidential sycophants.
At this point, the NR has arrived! Private lunches and dinners at the White House, entertaining the Presidential couple - together and separately - and dispensing one's favors, freely cement the relationship nicely.
Links to further background and details of this astonishing story:
Personal and professional background
Trial and court appointed (mis)representation