For decades, Michael J. Schroeder--Orange County's chiropractic insurance king and weighty Republican adviser--has accumulated a large enemy body count as he walks leisurely through life.
The list of his political assassinations is long and legendary in modern California campaign lore, a fact that earned him the moniker "Darth Vader" but apparently not the attention of President Barack Obama and the U.S. Secret Service.
No, no, Schroeder--a former chairman of the California Republican Party and longtime District Attorney Tony Rackauckas pal--isn't a physical threat to the POTUS.
But this wealthy Newport Beach red wine connoisseur who constantly craves exotic travel and food adventures doesn't fear sticking the proverbial dagger in the reputation of a Democratic Party politician he loathes.
After flying to New Zealand in late December to enjoy one of the world's first New Year's Eve celebrations, Schroeder flew to Hawaii to party at one of the last. During this stop, he made dinner reservations at the Vintage Cave in Honolulu, a "private society" restaurant with a $500,000 membership fee. The bill for two can easily top $1,000 or $2,000 depending on the bottle of wine selected.
It was here that Schroeder's fine dining experience nearly turned to indigestion. Seated 20 feet away at a different table were the Obamas, their companions and Secret Service agents.
"How do you enjoy the food and wine that you have so carefully picked out while staring at his dour mug," Schroeder wrote in a Jan. 4 guest column in the FlashReport.
But his biggest point was the hypocrisy of the "class-warfare-in-chief" dining for three hours in such an establishment.
"After hearing him rail against the 1% for so long, was the irony completely lost on him?" he asked. "Another question: who was paying for all of this and was it being properly reported on all of the forms the Democrats so enjoy requiring all of us to fill out?"
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Questions aside, Schroeder reports he still managed to enjoy the restaurant despite the presence of "a limousine liberal."