"Thank you!" Clancy held his and his wife's hand in the air in victory. "Thank you, all!" The crowd of supporters erupted as the election results continued to update on the screen.
The Senior Senator of his state approached the podium and adjusted the microphone, his wife beaming as she stood behind him.
"This has been a challenging but well-fought election," he told the group. "I look forward to continuing to serve you as I have in the past." Clancy turned his attention to the cameras of the assembled news media. "And let me assure those who did not vote for me that I also look forward to listening to their concerns and will serve them as well."
William Harman leaned his shoulder against the door frame and crossed his arms. He agreed. It had been a hard-fought election. While he enjoyed working with the campaign he was happy to be able to resume his routine.
He waved at Clancy's campaign manager as she approached. Stacey Fitch was focused on the tablet in her hand. "Congratulations, Stacey."
"Thank you, Bill." She looked up from the tablet briefly then resumed her examination of some statistics on the screen. "We couldn't have done it with it without you. You had a unique skill at negotiating some of the more difficult demographics in this region."
"I appreciate that." He tried to peek at the tablet screen but Fitch had it angled so he couldn't see.
"I guess you're about to get caught up on those sophomore papers clogging up your email." She said.
Harman nodded. "Hopefully I won't have very many emojis in them this time."
"Sometimes they're the best way to get a point across." She volunteered.
He nodded again. "But they're not appropriate for academic discussion."
Fitch looked up from the screen. "Speaking of academic discussion, I was looking at your most recently published paper..."
Harman was surprised she had taken the time to read A Universally-Composable, Indifferentiable Oblivious Macroeconomic Transfer Protocol. "I didn’t know anyone had read that."
"Quite. How are things at the University? I hear there's been some belt tightening."
"Yes." He acknowledged. "Gifts to the University Foundation have been down the last few years and my seat has not been endowed."
"Tough times, tough times." She said seemingly distracted to the tablet again. "Also been looking at your resume."
"You have?" He asked. "I haven't started looking for new work yet. Just put out a few feelers"
"Let's just say a friend forwarded it on to me."
"Can't say?" He pressed, "or won't say?"
"Won't say." Fitch concluded. "But a very close friend."
Harman thumbed through the files in his brain, but couldn't quite figure who might have sent his resume to the campaign manager. "I guess this is a job interview of sorts."
"Of sorts," she said. "Do you know any foreign languages?"
"Does Pig Latin count?"
She tapped on the screen. "Makes things a little more challenging." She looked up again, "What sort of diplomatic skills do you have?"
He smiled mischievously, "I've been married for 17 years."
She frowned disapprovingly.
"Before I came to the University, I was a humanities professor at a community college for 22 years, with ten of those years as department chair. I would think that would display a certain level of political expertise."
Fitch nodded. "What about travel? Where do you go for vacation?"
An odd question, Harman thought, but answered it anyway. "My wife, son, and I take a couple weeks every year to go somewhere in the U.S. Every couple years we try to travel internationally."
"Very good," she said. "What other countries have you been to?"
Harman looked into the distance and counted with his fingers absentmindedly as he ticked off the countries, "Mexico, Britain, Italy, New Zealand."
"A pretty good variety of countries. Have you ever heard of Oslea?"
He rolled the name around in his head, "Can't say that I have. Where is it?"
"I don't know," Fitch admitted. "Let me look it up real quick." She tapped on the screen several times. "That's interesting."
"There's only three notes about it in the CIA Factbook." She said somewhat puzzled. "It's in the South Pacific and their primary language is English."
"The other note?"
"I suppose that's a good thing to know."
"So, when can you start?"
"Huh?" Harman was startled. "What do you mean?"
Fitch explained, "Because of your excellent background and your service to the Senator during the campaign, Mr. Clancy would like to nominate you to be the next U.S. Ambassador to Oslea."
"Oh. Well." He stammered, "That sounds like quite an honor. I'll have to talk to my wife and son about it first."
Fitch only smiled, "Don't worry. She's a close friend"