The political graveyard?

November 10, 2006

graveyard.jpegSo where do former members of the House and Senate, not to mention Governors and former Cabinet members go when they exit from the political stage? Many of them wind up filling seats on boards of directors. Just take a look at the proxy filed by IDT Corp. (IDT) yesterday. There’s a former Governor: James Gilmore. A former Senator: Slade Gorton. There’s Jack Kemp, a former leader in the House of Representatives. And the former Ambassador to the United Nations, Jeane Kirkpatrick.

Of course, IDT isn’t the only company tapping into the well of ex-politicos. On Wednesday, Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (KERX) announced that former Senator Wyche Fowler Jr. would be joining the company’s board. And earlier this year, Lucent Technologies (LU) asked former Defense Secretary William Perry and former CIA Director James Woolsey to serve on the board of its Bell Labs subsidiary. And in July, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle resigned from the board of Apollo Investment Corp. (AINV), citing unspecified "other commitments".

No doubt that the former politicos help with various contacts both in and out of the halls of power. But they can also provide a bit of buzz. I can’t even count how many times Al Gore pimped Apple (AAPL) products during An Inconvenient Truth.

So where will people like Conrad Burns and Donald Rumsfeld wind up? Post your comments below.

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