Thursday, 20 August 2009

Bloomberg's Karen Leigh Packs DC Bags for Cambodia

Wednesday, Aug 19

Bloomberg's Karen Leigh is "trading in golf pool and helo landings for the splendors of Phnom Penh." She'll still be working for Bloomberg, and additionally the Cambodia Daily, just now in the home country of Maddox Pitt.

FBDC caught up with Leigh as she packs her bags for a big move from Washington...

Why Cambodia? Credit my overwhelming desire to see monks riding tandem bikes.

What differences do you anticipate going from covering the White House to working in the "splendors of Phnom Penh," as you put it? How are you preparing? It's going to be hot, loud and crowded -- a lot like White House briefings. To prepare, I've been getting massages, spending as much time as possible with the friends and getting on a seriously first-name basis with Jack and Stella.

What and who will you miss most in DC? Late night walks around the monuments. Biking along the canal. Fighting with White House security when I forget my Hill pass. Forcing Georgetown tourists onto the street. Running home to shower after Marine One departures. Our Colonel, Al Hunt. My favorite boss, Robin Meszoly. Descriptions of Phil Elliott's home cooking. Making Jeff Mason sing (ask him for selections from "South Pacific.") Soliciting life advice from the goddess-like Julie Mason. Tennis with Perry Bacon. Never having to pay for drinks (Mike Memoli). The questionable tie fashion of Keith Koffler and Hans Nichols. Julianna Goldman, Athena Jones, Christina Bellantoni and Sunlen Miller, all lovely, who have brightened many a pool. And Roger Runningen, who was there on my first day at the White House last January and coined my nickname -- Annette -- based on the "American President" character who, like me, was excited on day one she could barely get through the Northwest Gate.

You campaigned hard for Julie Mason's White House Correspondents Association (successful) election and now you're skipping town. What does this mean for campaign promises of White House South Lawn ice luges and briefing room massages? I'll be working from afar to ensure that each promise is fulfilled. The luge tournament will be timed for the Vancouver Olympics and I'm working on getting Gibbs to cut a hole in the podium so we can use it as a massage table.

After the jump, Leigh's goodbye messages for her media friends...

Any goodbye messages for your Washington media friends? Don't panic, but I heard J. Crew is discontinuing all khaki products. (And stripes. And loafers.) Also, consider Phnom for your next vacation. The average temperature is a cool 90, it's sometimes considered safe to walk by yourself and trekking on dirt roads is great for the legs.


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