Joschka Goes Yankee? | News and current affairs from Germany and around the world | DW | 10.01.2006
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Joschka Goes Yankee?

Germany's former foreign minister is reportedly eyeing a new career across the Atlantic. He's yet to decide on a new employer but a tiger and a pilgrim are likely to play a role.


"These robes are great to cover up a few extra pounds"

When German tabloid Bild recently published a picture of an elderly gray-haired man watering the plants on his balcony, few could believe that German political superstar Joschka Fischer had suddenly exchanged the buzzing world of international diplomacy for creepy-crawlies wriggling around his fingers.

Joschka Fischer - Hochzeit in Rom BdT

Fischer and Minu Barati got married in Rome last October

But Fischer, who had just lost his job as German foreign minister, seemed set to enjoy his retirement from high-level politics and spend more time with his fifth wife and her daughter.

However, horticulture is unlikely to become the 57-year-old's new-found passion. According to German magazine stern, which cites sources close to the man himself, Fischer's been in secret negotiations with elite US universities about a new job as guest professor.

His English won't be a problem as he proved quite publicly during a 2003 conference in Munich.

"Excuse me, Mr. Rumsfeld, I am not convinced," Fischer told the US defense secretary when the latter claimed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was in possession of weapons of mass destruction.

From high school dropout to the Ivy League

Both Harvard and Princeton have allegedly signaled their interest in winning over the high school dropout and former cab driver.

It won't be an easy decision as both schools have excellent reputations and will likely offer similar compensation -- full time professors earn around $150,000 (125,000 euros).

Fokus Europa Thema Cannabis

Fischer during a marathon in Hamburg in 1998

But seeing that he's been losing weight again, Fischer might favor Princeton as it's closer to New York, where he ran the marathon in 1999 in three hours and 55 minutes. Boston on the other hand -- located near Harvard -- puts on the world's oldest annual marathon, and Joschka's been known to try out new things.

In the end, he might just have to follow his heart, as one DW-WORLD source intimately familiar with both institutions put it.

If Joschka wants his school mascot to be a cushiony tiger toy that seems more appropriate for a kindergarten than a top university, he should go with Princeton. If, however, he'd rather embrace a more dignified, pilgrim-like fellow, called John, then Harvard's the place for him.

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