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Bill Clinton: US ambassador to Ireland? Rumors catch fire.

Bill Clinton loves Ireland, and Ireland loves him, but fresh Beltway rumors are suggesting that he might even like to be the US ambassador to the Emerald Isle. Is Dublin big enough for Bill?

President Obama waves after former President Bill Clinton addressed the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., earlier this year.

David Goldman/AP/File

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Is Ireland big enough for Bill Clinton?

The chatter about what Mr. Clinton might do next has often tended toward the grandiose. In the past, there was talk of making an exception just this once and nominating President Clinton to serve as United Nations secretary-general. (No American has ever served in that post.)

More recently, the former president – who served successfully as unofficial explainer-in-chief in President Obama’s reelection campaign – has emerged as the darling candidate of some Mideast experts, should Mr. Obama decide to name a special envoy for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

But now come the Washington rumors that what Clinton may really covet is the US ambassadorship to Ireland.

Absent any confirmation of interest from the former president, the question is whether the globe-trotting Clinton, accustomed to addressing Haiti earthquake recovery one day and the AIDS challenge the next – not to mention the annual summit of his Clinton Global Initiative with world leaders in New York – is ready to retire to the relative backwater of Dublin.

The speculation stems in part from a recent quip from Clinton, who noted while on his third trip this year to the Emerald Isle in November that “I could run for president of Ireland” if only he owned a home there. (Clinton, born William Jefferson Blythe, is of Irish ancestry, though not direct enough to satisfy Irish law.)


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