To many young dreamers, entering a life of politics is a way of transforming the world. To the politicians themselves, there are plenty of other perks. Whether it’s trips all over the world, endless business opportunities, book deals, or just all-you-can-eat pizza, they know how to make their time in the office very worthwhile. And while it might not be the highest-paying job in the world, somehow they still manage to own some downright beautiful homes. Read on for our top picks.
To unwind away from the stress of the campaign trail, Hillary and her husband retire to their very own fortress of solitude in Chappaqua. Located 35 miles north of New York City, and an easy commute to Campaign HQ, the 1889 three-story home is an oasis of calm for the Clintons. And with a high security fence, Secret Service personnel living in their barn, and the location on the Old House Lane cul-de-sac, it’s easy to see why.
Although security isn’t nearly as tight as it was during Bill’s presidency (when all cars even entering Old House Lane were stopped), any troubles can be instantly forgotten on the 1.1-acre property. There’s space for the entire family, plenty of lawn for their lovable guard-dogs in training, and even a heated pool. The Clintons’ favorite coffee shop is just down the road, too.
With success in the political sphere (as Ted Cruz’s running mate) and an influential tenure as CEO of Hewlett-Packard, Carly has the purchasing power to buy a palace. While she has splashed out a bit of cash on her home, the keywords here are understatement and charm. In 2011, she purchased her North Virginian home for $6.1 million. All we can say is WOW!
The home itself sits on five acres and has beautiful sweeping views of the Potomac river. There are six bedrooms, eight bathrooms, and an incredible five fireplaces to keep the house warm through those cold winter nights. Best of all, she’s just a stone’s throw away from the action in Washington D.C., where no doubt she’ll be putting in an appearance again.
A big personality needs a big space, and Donald Trump has both. His lavish penthouse apartment takes up the entire top three floors of his eponymous New York towers, and the interior design simply screams opulence. Decked out in a Louis XIV style, the apartment is dripping with 24K gold, marble, crystal chandeliers and highly ornate furnishings. There’s framed pictures of himself, too – just in case he forgets.
The view from the top is breathtaking, both outside and in. From the painted ceilings, to the luxurious rugs, to the hand-carved marble columns, no shortage of cash has gone into the Angelo Donghia design. In fact, records show that Trump took out a $100 million mortgage on the entire tower. He might have needed to buy a new chair.
If we ever needed more proof that hot air rises, all we had to do was look at Ted Cruz’s luxury apartment. Set on the 19th floor of an exclusive high-rise condo complex, the home looks out on commanding views of the Houston skyline and those staggering Texan sunsets. Bought for a modest $837,000 eight years ago, there is no doubt it could go for a lot more now.
It accommodates his wife and two daughters perfectly, with two bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms (we’re with you, Ted – why would you need more?). But if that seems lacking to you, consider that the family has a spacious 2,000 square feet of living area to play, work, and rest in. The junior senator and one-time presidential hopeful could do a lot worse.
Honest politics is not always a lucrative career. Far more money can be made in the high-stakes world of business and finance. But Rand Paul goes to show that you can do a lot with just a little income. With only $500,000 – based on assessments – he has staked out a big and beautiful corner of the earth, and the amount of land Rand Paul owns is something that many people dream of having.
The Republican candidate’s property lies on almost 2 acres of land and features four bedrooms and three bathrooms. Built in 1994, the home is surrounded by lush and cool foliage, ensuring that the Kentucky summer heat never gets unbearable. To us, it looks like a perfect place to retire and put the feet up.
It’s hard to pick just one property of the former New York Mayor and hugely successful businessman, Michael Bloomberg. The multi-billionaire doesn’t just have one home – he has 11. And he doesn’t just take a Winnebago to go between them – he has a private jet. We’d hate to see the size of his keyring.
The eleven properties include homes in Bermuda, London, Colorado, Upstate New York, and three properties in New York City. He has townhouses, resorts, ranches, and probably a chalet or two. The sixth-richest person in the world has so many properties that in the twelve years he served as mayor, he never quite got around to moving in to Gracie Mansion, where every other mayor lived. We think, Michael, that you should just consider renting.
George W. Bush
It’s not often you see a property which is more intelligent than your owner, but George W. Bush and his Texan Prairie Chapel Ranch has somehow managed it. Designed to withstand and even thrive in the harsh, arid Texan summers, Bush’s sprawling 1,500-acre home features every kind of state-of-the-art water and energy saving technology.
Using geothermal heat pumps, 300-foot deep water at a constant 67 degrees is piped through the house to both heat and cool it – a 75% energy saving on traditional methods. A 25,000-gallon reservoir collects rain and purified waste water to irrigate the surrounding land. The house itself is built from local limestone and positioned perfectly to catch every fresh breeze and every stunning view. It’s probably the only aspect of Bush that’s ever been environmentally friendly.
Although the Reagan name came to be synonymous with wealth, high-spending, and ridiculous excess, in truth his home life was far more modest. Well, modest except for the views. Situated in the Santa Ynez Mountains in Santa Barbara, California, The Reagans’ getaway ranch was an exercise in both style and simplicity.
When they bought the Rancho Del Cielo (or Sky Ranch) in 1974, the 700-acre property cost them just over half a million dollars. With a pond called Lake Lucky and access only by a single lane road, the house that many called “The Western White House” must have seemed a world away from the bombings, arms races, and Cold War of the time. Today it is preserved by the Young America’s foundation as a “living monument to Reagan.” That would explain the 1970s furniture, at least.
Many would know about the former Governator’s gigantic Pacific Palisades mansion that he shared with his ex-wife Maria Shriver. But we want to talk about his other stunning home. A home so luxurious, so wonderful, so bright and cheerful, that he turned to bodybuilding in a desperate attempt to escape. We want to talk about Austria.
His family home in Thal, southern Austria, is now a museum open to the public. In the small town with a small future, you can see drab former forester's lodge where he was born. The tiny single bed where he spent his youth dreaming of getting out. The handful of rooms that forced him out into the wide world and superstardom. Will he be back? Not likely, but we sure hope so.
The presidency of Gerald Ford might be before the time of many of us, but residents of Vail, Colorado still fondly remember him - as “a guy who loved to ski.” His former holiday home in there is a testament to the fact that not only did he love to ski, he loved to ski in style. $14.9 million dollars’ worth of style.
That’s how much his Bavarian style chalet was listed for in 2009. It may have been cheaper in the time that Ford and his Secret Service agents blasted down the slopes, but we’re betting it wouldn’t be by much. With seven bedrooms, eleven bathrooms (why?), and an unparalleled view of the Beaver Creek Mountain from the “Presidential Master Suite”, Ford’s snow retreat always oozed style. We wouldn’t mind stopping by for a schnapps.
While he may have been snubbed by Trump in the vice-presidential race, at least Christie has the consolation of having a fabulous home to go back to. So fabulous, in fact, that when offered the traditional governor’s home in Princeton – the amazingly named Drumthwacket – he snubbed it himself. Instead, he decided to stay put in his five bedroom, seven-acre mansion in Mendham.
And why not? With total privacy – the nearest house is a half-mile away – tasteful French furnishings, rolling expanses of lawn in every direction, three fireplaces, a pool, and air-conditioned gym, and your very own barn, why would you need to go anywhere else? I mean, it only cost him cool $2 million or so. Which seems to be hardly anything in governor dollars.
Colin Powell knows there’s more than one way to get to the White House. In the affluent McLean, Virginia, a resident built an almost exact replica. We’re not sure how Powell feels when he passes by the mini White House look-a-like (nostalgia or a heart murmur?), but considering he still has a lot of opinions on presidents past, current, and future we suspect it might be the former.
Set at the end of a cul-de-sac, Powell’s home is an exercise in not much restraint. In a suburb where the median house price alone is a little shy of a million dollars, you can bet on a swimming pool, a tennis court or two, and far more bedrooms than children. Is doesn’t look like the former US Army General and Secretary of State has suffered too much from his time in the military.
The renowned environmentalist and almost-president’s home is, curiously enough, almost the opposite of Bush’s. Where the Bush ranch saves on power, water, and money, Gore’s expansive Tennessee mansion consumes a shocking 12 times the amount of power as an average Nashville property. If only it was a glass house, then the irony would be complete.
But where does all that power go? Try 20 rooms and 8 bathrooms, a separate guest house, a pool, and a pool house, all heated by natural gas. True, he has made some improvements in recent years, installing rainwater tanks and solar panels. And let’s face it, a palm-tree fringed pool is undeniably awesome. But save some planet for the rest of us, please.
Madeleine Albright might have been the first-ever female Secretary of State, but she’s not the first Secretary of State on this list to own a magnificent, and magnificently expensive home. From the 1960s she called this seven bedroom, 4.3-acre property home, even after she was called to serve in Washington D.C.
Once owned by members of the Tiffany family, the house features stained-glass windows, intricate carved wood moldings, and antique lamps. Along with a groundskeeper’s cottage, the home also included a vast expanse of perfectly clipped lawn and lavish saltwater pool, complete with pool house. The Virginian home was recently listed for an incredible $3 million. We’ve started saving.
If there’s one thing that politicians can do well, it’s humility. They are men and women of simple and inexpensive tastes. They know that to serve is its own reward, and are often embarrassed by the wages they receive for their work. Former Mormon preacher, governor of Massachusetts, and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney knows all about living a Spartan lifestyle – his house only cost him $12 million.
But he’s satisfied with his little hut on the oceanfront at La Jolla in California. He’s more than happy with the poky 3,000 square feet. Well, he is renovating it to quadruple the size now, but we think that’s just so he can see more of the ocean. To feel his own powerlessness in the face of nature. To forget that he owns almost $30 million worth of property and remember why he became a politician in the first place. To get closer to the people.
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It's likely that the women in your day to day life are pretty "normal" in appearance. So when you see someone whose appearance differs from what you expect it to be, it can be kind of a shock. The ladies in the following slideshow are definitely far from average. Some of these women spent thousands of dollars on plastic surgery, tattoos, or body piercings. Others are born with strange birth defects such as excessive facial hair, a gigantic butt or even an 8 inch tongue. See for yourself!
Lauren Williams: 4 Foot Long Legs
Lauren Williams has the longest-known legs in the United States, with her eye-catching limbs measuring an incredible 49 inches from hip to heel. Lauren's height and long-legged genes can be attributed to her family as her father, mother and twin sisters are all 6ft or taller.
She has US size 11 feet (UK size 10), and revealed that she can find it tricky to buy clothes that fit. When modelling, single Lauren - who has worked on campaigns for global brands such as Nike - does everything from sports and fitness to high fashion and swimwear.
Having played volleyball in college, as well as being extremely active, Lauren also enjoys shooting sporty campaigns. As well as modelling, Lauren works as an educator at a children's museum in Houston and enjoys travelling. When out and about, her striking looks and long limbs mean she gets comments about her legs on a daily basis.
Pixee Fox: Dangerously Small Waist
Swedish born Pixee Fox had already spent more than $80,000 on plastic surgery attempting to sculpt the perfect hourglass figure. But now she has taken her obsession even further by having 6 of her lower ribs removed - so she can shrink her waist to a record-breaking 14 inches. Pixee, from Sweden, said: "People often come up to me and say, "don't take this the wrong way, but you look like a cartoon" - but for me that's a compliment, that's what I want to achieve.
With 6 of her lower ribs removed, Pixee's lower internal organs, including the liver, have lost some of their natural protection - but she isn't worried. She said: "Before if I was in a car crash I would normally break my ribs. If that happened now I'm probably going to break my spleen instead. In total she has had four rhinoplasties costing $14,000; four breast augmentations of 200cc, 525cc, 800cc and 1400cc costing $28,500; two rounds of liposuction at $5,000; two upper eyelid surgeries at $6,000; a labiaplasty costing $4,000; a Brazilian butt lift at $9,000 and cool-sculpting, cheek injections, and lip injections at about $12,000.
Bethany Hamilton: One Armed Pro Surfer
Bethany Meilani Hamilton-Dirks is an American professional surfer who survived a 2003 shark attack in which her left arm was bitten off, but ultimately returned to-and was victorious in-professional surfing. On October 31, 2003 Hamilton, aged 13 at the time, went for a morning surf along Tunnels Beach, Kauai, with best friend Alana Blanchard, Alana's father, Holt, and brother Byron. Around 7:30 a.m., with numerous turtles in the area, she was lying on her surfboard with her left arm dangling in the water, when a 14-foot tiger shark attacked her, severing her left arm just below the shoulder.
Despite the trauma of the incident, Hamilton was determined to return to surfing. Three weeks after the incident, she returned to her board. Initially, she adopted a custom-made board that was longer and slightly thicker than standard and had a handle for her right arm, making it easier to paddle, and she learned to kick more to make up for the loss of her left arm. After teaching herself to surf with one arm, on January 10, 2004, she entered a major competition. She now uses standard competitive performance short-boards. The broken surfboard that Hamilton was riding during the attack is on display at the California Surf Museum
Mayra Hills: World's Largest Fake Breasts
Mayra Hills - also known as Beshine - measures at 59-28-36 and says she's the proud owner of the world's largest fake breasts. And it's not hard to believe her claim to fame, considering each of her breasts have 10,000 cc of saline implants and weigh 20 pounds a piece! As you can imagine, it's difficult for Beshine, who wears a size 32Z bra, to find clothes that fit, so the German-born woman has a lot of her items custom-made.
But bra shopping isn't her only woe. She can no longer tie her own shoes and has run into trouble when she's knocked things over with her chest - but it appears she's satisfied with her body, troubles and all. "Some people maybe think the sheer size of my t-ts bring too many handicaps in my everyday life, but hey, having big boob problems is amazing," she wrote on her blog.
Anastasiya Shpagina: Real Life Anime Girl
It's official, this real-life anime trend has gotten completely out of hand. Hardly a day goes by that we don't stumble upon some photos of girls going to any lengths in order to look like real live anime characters. Today's example, Anastasiya Shpagina, an Ukrainian girl who has even taken a Japanese name - Fukkacumi. 19-year-old Anastasiya (Nastya) Shpagina has been called "the new Barbie" by national news outlets, but she later revealed she's striving to become a real-life Japanese anime character, not a doll. She even posted "I am not like a doll, a doll is like me."
Apparently, Nastya has been passionate about makeup even as a young child, always experimenting with it in the mirror. Over time she also developed a thing for Japanese cartoons and it was only a matter of time before she started using her make-up artist skills to transform herself into a real-life anime girl. But just putting on makeup wasn't enough to attain that coveted look, so she decided to lose weight in order to seem more genuine. At 1.58-meters-tall, Anastasiya weighs just 39 kilos and is trying to lose one more in order to look just right.
Chanel Tapper: World's Longest Tongue
The longest female tongue measures 9.75 cm (3.8 in) from the tip to the middle of lip and was achieved by Chanel Tappe on 29 September 2010. Chanel, from Houston, US, shot to fame aged 13 when she was spotted sticking out her monster tongue in a YouTube video. In September Guinness invited Chanel to Los Angeles where they measured her tongue and she narrowly beat two other female contenders to the record.
She said: "I have always been silly and goofy. I love sticking my tongue out at people. I started doing that back in school. I've never had a problem with having a long tongue, it's just fun." Chanel now has set her sights set on Hollywood after finishing her studies. She said: "I'd love to be in a movie. I'm certainly pretty dramatic, so I think I could have the acting gift. "Really, I'd love to meet Adam Sandler, he's my favorite."
Sarah Massey: World's Largest Butt
Sarah Massey would be just another 33-year-old mother-of-two from Chicago - if it weren't for the fact that she also happens to have the world's biggest butt. Though not officially recognized by the prudes at Guinness, Massey's massive 7-foot wide keister requires a pair of 10XL trousers that would comfortably fit all of the Kardashian sisters combined.
Massey insists the condition that resulted in her museum-sized bubble butt is hereditary - "there's nothing I can do about it," she says - but that her love of ice cream certainly contributed to its maintenance. Massey would still like to lose some weight, but says she now has a new-found appreciation for her natural assets, and fervently defends them against anyone who calls them fake. "Some people can't believe one person can have this much butt," she told Barcroft. "Because I've got a relatively small frame on top they say, 'that can't be real.' I carry this weight with me all the time, everywhere I go, it's definitely not fake. Big booties are just in my blood."
Zlata: Extreme Flexibility
Russian-born former gymnast Zlata, 29, posed in leather and lingerie to adopt a series of poses that seem to defy every law of biology. Zlata, who now lives in Germany, is able to create astounding shapes with her body and is so flexible she can cram herself into a 50cm square box. One of her favorite acts is to bend backwards at a 90 degree angle, so the back half of her hands touch her feet and she can also peer through her own legs from behind.
Zlata's gift of flexibility was discovered when she was four years old and by six she was training as a contortionist at a circus school. She has a rare condition which makes all her tendons extremely pliable, which helps in her profession. The former gymnast now spends most of her day working out and training for shows around the world. In 2011 she set the Guinness World Record for the most beer bottles opened in a minute using only your feet.
Kim Goodman: Eyeball Protrusion
Kim Goodman is a woman who is able to pop her eyes out of her eye sockets by 12 millimeters (0.47 inches). She holds the world record for the farthest eyeball protrusion. She lives in Chicago, Illinois. She discovered her eyeball popping talent one day when she was hit on the head with a hockey mask. Her eyeballs popped out much further than usual and ever since that day she could pop them out on cue, as well as when she yawns.
She has appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman. In 2004, Goodman was included by Guinness World Records in their 50th anniversary list of top ten "feats" of all time. Kim originally had the record for being able to extend her eye balls beyond her eye sockets by 10mm. This was matched a few years by a new contender, but when Kim was re-measured she found she could now reach 12mm - breaking her own record and keeping the title.
Natalia Partyka: One Armed Table Tennis Champ
Natalia Partyka (born 27 July 1989) is a Polish table tennis player. Born without a right hand and forearm, she participates in competitions for able-bodied athletes as well as in competitions for athletes with disabilities. Partyka reached the last 32 of the London 2012 Olympic women's table tennis. Partyka began playing table tennis at the age of seven. She won her first international table tennis medal in 1999 at the disabled World Championships. At the age of 11, she competed at the 2000 Summer Paralympics in Sydney, becoming the world's youngest ever Paralympian. In 2004, she won a gold medal in the singles event and silver in the team event at the Athens Paralympics.
Partyka competed for Poland both the 2008 Summer Olympics and the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing - one of only two athletes to do so, the other being Natalie du Toit in swimming. They were her third Paralympic Games, and her first Olympics. Competing in class 10 at the Beijing Paralympics, she won gold by defeating China's Fan Lei by three sets to nil. In 2008, she won a gold medal in the singles event and a silver in the team event at the Beijing Paralympics, repeating her Athens Paralympics result.
Supatra Sasuphan: World's Hairiest Girl
Her nicknames may include "wolf girl" and "monkey face". But 11-year-old Thai girl Supatra Sasuphan today insisted that she was after being officially recognised as the world's hairiest girl. Although the schoolgirl from Bangkok has faced merciless teasing at school, Supatra says being given a Guinness World Record for her hair has helped her become extremely popular. "I'm very happy to be in the Guinness World Records! A lot of people have to do a lot to get in," she said. "All I did was answer a few questions and then they gave it to me."
Supatra is one of just 50 known sufferers of Ambras Syndrome - caused by a faulty chromosome - to be documented since the Middle Ages. Before the disease was understood, sufferers were branded "werewolves." She has thick hair growing over her face, ears, arms, legs and back. Even laser treatment has failed to stop the hair growth. But while most sufferers have been shunned, Supatra has gradually been embraced by her community, and became a popular and outgoing child.
Jasmine Tridevil: Woman With 3 Breasts
There's really no other way to put this so we're just going to dive in: Meet Jasmine Tridevil. She has three breasts. Tridevil (no that's not her real name, but that's what she wants to go by) is a 21-year-old licensed massage therapist and die-hard Criss Angel fan from Florida who decided to undergo a shocking and controversial $20,000 surgery to add a third breast to her chest.
Tridevil also stated that she's hoping to bank a reality show from this, and has already put the wheels in motion to make something happen. "I was making really good money [being a licensed massage therapist] but now I'm trying to star in a reality show instead. I don't like that job," she shared, and later added, "My whole dream is to get this show on MTV. I hired a camera crew individually, so I'm the producer of this show right now."
Lyudmila Titchenkova: World's Longest Neck
Lyudmila Titchenkova is a 16-year-old living in the city of Nikolaev, Ukraine. After she turned 10, Lyudmila's parents noticed that their daughter's body began developing at an accelerated growth rate. She was taller and had longer arms than other children her age, but of particular concern was the length of her neck and abnormal curvature of her spine.
As it got to the point where Lyudmila began feeling embarrassed to go out because of her appearance, her parents took her to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder of the connective tissue that can affect many parts of the body, most often the heart, blood vessels, bones, joints and eyes. In Lyudmila's case, the disorder affected the connective tissue in her spine, causing it to curve at an angle of 30 degrees. This seems to be a rather uncommon symptom of the disorder, which usually affect people's arms, legs and fingers. After undergoing corrective surgery and extensive rehabilitation to straighten her spine, Lyudmila can now live normally and says she wants to study for her future without letting herself be affected by her disorder.
Abigail and Brittany Hensel: Girl With Two Heads
Abigail Loraine "Abby" Hensel and Brittany Lee Hensel (born March 7, 1990) are dicephalic parapagus twins, meaning that they are conjoined twins, each of whom has a separate head, but whose bodies are joined. They are highly symmetric for conjoined twins, giving the appearance of having just a single body without marked variation from normal proportion. In fact, several vital organs are doubled up; each twin has a separate heart, stomach, spine, lungs, and spinal cord.
In conversation, the twins are clearly distinct persons, with distinct likes and dislikes. Their preferences in food, clothing color, etc., differ. Some of their clothes are altered by their seamstress so that they have two separate necklines in order to emphasize their individuality. They will usually have separate meals, but sometimes will share a single meal for the sake of convenience (e.g. each taking a bite of the same hamburger). Abby is better at mathematics, and Brittany is better at writing. For tasks such as responding to email, they type and respond as one, anticipating each other's feelings with little verbal communication between them.
Natasha Veruschka: Sword Swallower
Natasha Veruschka has the world record for most swords swallowed simultaneously by a female. She swallowed 13 swords, each at least 38.1 cm (15 in) long, at the 3rd Annual Sideshow Gathering and Sword Swallowers Convention in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, USA, on 3 September 2004. Natasha was born in India of white russian and british heritage. She has lived, studied, and performed her art around the world and also speaks several different languages.
Natasha now lives in New York City. She is an amazing performer who uses many different types of swords in her act or as she likes to say "Swords On The Menu." The swords on the menu are - "The Red devil" 29 inches long, "The Big Sword" 27 1/2 inches long, "The Bradshaw Sword" 25 inches long, "The Sai Weapons" two 24 inch long eight-sided weapons of steel. Natasha trained with a "Sai Master" in order to use them in her act. Also on the menu is the unbelieveable "Sword Sandwich" where she swallows 13-22 inch long swords simultaneously.