The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


Foggy Bottom

Obama Announces Rooney as Ambassador to Ireland

Note: Please upgrade your Flash plug-in to view our enhanced content.

By Al Kamen
Lady Luck naturally smiled on Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney on St. Patrick's Day, the day the White House chose to announce his long-expected nomination to be ambassador to Ireland. Rooney, a member of the Football Hall of Fame who led the Steelers to a record six national championships, is a lifelong Republican.

But he was so inspired by Barack Obama that he endorsed and stumped with the candidate, a crucial stamp of approval in a football-crazed and electorally critical swing state.

Rooney, who needs to be confirmed by the Senate for the job, has been long-active in Irish organizations. He co-founded the Ireland Funds, a nonprofit that raises money to support education and the arts in Ireland. In 1976, he established the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, which is awarded to young Irish writers.

Rooney recently told a Pittsburgh radio station he did not endorse or campaign for Obama "with the idea of getting anything." But "if he calls me," Rooney added, "obviously I'm going to say that I'll do anything I can for you."

Dublin sounds pretty good.

Posted at 12:35 PM ET on Mar 17, 2009  | Category:  Foggy Bottom
Share This: Technorati talk bubble Technorati | Tag in | Digg This
Previous: Obama Announces Nominee for Appeals Court | Next: Eye on the Irish at the White House

Add 44 to Your Site
Be the first to know when there's a new installment of The Trail. This widget is easy to add to your Web site, and it will update every time there's a new entry on The Trail.
Get This Widget >>


Please email us to report offensive comments.

Thats what I like about "Big Brother Obama" he all ways in front of the camera with a good news story.

VJ Machiavelli

Posted by: VJMachiavelli1 | March 18, 2009 12:34 AM

I'm not Irish. But I am a Catholic, and I have marched in parades and drunk beer and have celebrated St Patrick's Day for many years. But this Washington shebang tops everything . . . . even Hollywood . . . . . green water flowing in the fountain, meeting with Irish politicos, shamrock luncheon, Paul Muldoon, Maggie McCarthy, the Shannon Rovers, revelry (booze), etc. What didn't they think of? I am really pleased, though, with the appointment of Dan Rooney. The Rooneys are a fine Irish Pittsburgh family.

rmk, akron

Posted by: rmkraus | March 17, 2009 4:02 PM

Usually I think these kinds of appointments are absurd, but this one makes more sense than most. Mr. Rooney has a history of supporting the Northern Ireland peace process and is very familiar with the issues.

Posted by: adriennevollmer | March 17, 2009 2:36 PM

I know these kind of appointments happen in every administration, but honestly, this is just silly.

Posted by: MikeL4 | March 17, 2009 1:36 PM

Within less than a year, Mr. Rooney has bucked his Republican Party and the Penna-popular Senator Clinton to help Senator Obama to the Presidency, won a wonderfully-exciting Super Bowl and got appointed Ambassador to Ireland on St. Patrick's Day. Congratulations! Well done all around.

Posted by: JulesJames | March 17, 2009 1:28 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.


© 2009 The Washington Post Company