Talk:Prince Bandar bin Sultan
Prince Bandar was appointed ambassador to the United States by his uncle, father-in-law, and mentor in 1983 at the age of 34. He is the senior member of the Washington diplomatic corps. Prince Bandar has had unprecedented access to Presidents and most senior American officials since the Reagan era. He assisted the Reagan administration's fiscal support of the Nicaraguan Contras and in the arming of the Afghan mujahedeen fighters. Prince Bandar has the only State Department provided security detail.
Prince Bandar's effectiveness has been attributed to his credibility with the Saudi Royal Family and to his cultural adaptability. He wears western suits when meeting with American statesmen or commentators; traditional robe and head cover when representing his country officially. He smokes cigars, roots for the Dallas cowboys, and speaks English like an American. He hunted with President Carter, fished with President Bush, and jawed with President Reagan. He and his family met with the Bush Family in Crawford, Texas.
Prince Bandar has exuberant charm; he is flashy, cunning and secretive. Appellations have included "the Talleyrand of the desert," "the Saudi Gatsby," "D.C.'s Prince of Intrigue," "the Dean of the Washington Diplomatic Corp," "Washington's most senior diplomatic couple (together with spouse, Princess Haifa al Faisal)", "Bandar Bush", "Mr. Smoothie", Prince Bandar's influence in Washington and with the Saudi Royalty has decreased significantly since the first gulf war. Saudi Arabia has been steadfast in its unwillingness to support military activities against Moslems or Islamic countries. This has been even more manifest since 9/11 and the US led attack on Iraq. Nonetheless, he is a frequent guest of television news commentators. The Arab and Israeli Lobbies rival the infamous China Lobby of the 1940's. Shortly before Clinton's Election, Bandar contributed $20 million to the University of Arkansas. He hosts at a McLean, Virginia estate and at a mansion in Aspen.