Welcome to the Monkey House

Who is Commodore William Rumfoord from Welcome to the Monkey House and what is their importance?

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Commodore Rumfoord lives across the street from the Kennedy house in Hyannis Port. When the narrator first sees him, he notes that Rumfoord's attire is odd for the season and location. He looks rather like a bear. He is rabid in his support of his son and in defense of his son when Hay Boyden heckles him during his speech. Rumfoord is a fierce supporter of Goldwater and is, in general, against the Kennedys and the Democrats. Over the course of the story, the narrator notes that the Rumfoords are an object of ridicule. The Kennedys refer to them as the "Pooh people" because of their resemblance to bears. They also assign a Secret Service agent especially to Commodore Rumfoord, jokingly labeling the agent "Rumfoord Specialist" and "Ambassador to Rumfoordiana." Rumfoord seems unaware of these jabs, but he becomes furious when the tour guide on the boat makes fun of him in front of the tourists.