Plucked from retirement, President Clinton’s new envoy brings years of business experience to the post.
DELANO E. Lewis is an engrossing storyteller. He paints a resplendent portrait of longing to retire to the picturesque, clean-air climate of Las Cruces, New Mexico, after 36 years of business leadership in the public and private sectors. Driving from Washington, D.C., to New Mexico during the summer of 1998, Lewis and his wife, Gayle, were looking forward to weekend hikes and morning exercise walks with their new neighbors, and a slower, serene and laid-back lifestyle. But six months later, on December 17, while packing boxes for a move up the road to a more spacious, palatial home with panoramic views of the Organ Mountains and three other scenic mountain ranges, the telephone rang. It was Vice President Gore, who was calling on behalf of President Clinton.
“Del, this is Al.”
“Mr. Vice President, to what do I owe this honor?”
“The president would like to place your name in nomination as the next United States Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa. …