Obama: Ambassadorships for Sale
Over the last 30 years or so the trend in Washington DC has been to pick ones friends to become ambassadors around the world. As you know the president will either use career diplomats or appoints “allies” and the senate votes yeah or nay on them, part of their advise and consent job as dictated by checks and balances. However, in recent times it is just not friends being appointed, but large campaign donors. At least a friend of the president may have visited, studied or married someone from the country they are appointed ambassador to, but a donor, who knows.
The current comedians being appointed to Norway, George Tsunis, Argentina, Noah Bryson Mamet, and Iceland, Robert Barber, all of whom admitted they have never been to the host countries.
Unqualified Obama appointee to Norway.
George Tsunis, a hotel CEO who raised $500,000 for Obama, cumulatively, for all Obama campaigns.
Ambassador appointed to Argentine, he has never been there.
Noah Bryson Mamet who is a political prostitute who raised money for Gephardt, Clinton(s), and Obama, with no real accomplishments except raising money, $500,000 for Obama.
Lawyer who raised over $500,000 to be nominated to be ambassador to Iceland.
Robert Barber, a lawyer, what more needs to be said, who raised in excess of $500,000 for Obama.
In President Obama’s second term 53%, according to the Washington Post, of all appointed ambassadors were large donors or “bundlers” for his 2008 and 2012 campaigns. So much for being a man of the people. transparency and openness or, my favorite, changing the tone in Washington. In my opinion appointing donors to ambassadorships, regardless of which president is doing it, is despicable and a gross abuse of power. I am serious, this is quid pro quo if I have ever seen it and in other areas of government this type of behavior is illegal. There was a 1980 rule that basically stats; “campaign contributions should not play a part in whether an ambassador…” its more of a guideline which most presidents honor, 70% go to career diplomats and the other 30% are “allies”, read donors. Obama’s first term was about 60-40% diplomats to appointees.
Why are there no laws being put forth that would ban political appointments for donors who give more than $100 to a candidate? Hey, $100 donation is fine and enough for a real friend to make a difference, but not enough to influence political appointments. You can either hope to be appointed to an ambassadorship. if you are qualified, or help get your friend elected, but you shouldn’t have both options.
I know Bush did the same thing, not as blatant, but he did it anyhow. I guess the main difference is that Obama made a point to say he is looking out for the every man and lambasted Bush over such policies. I guess this is just more proof that people, especially Obama, will say or do anything to get elected, literally. Remember 2008? Obama promised everyone something, I was looking forward to an open and honest government even though I didn’t vote for him. He literally said no more bailouts, that he would investigate Wall Street, stop running up the debt, and general fairness in government, as well as openness and transparency, but he has done none of these things.
In fact, with Wall Street he invited them all to the white house and the CEOs thought they were going to get an ear full, but Obama’s first words to them were; “you guys have an image problem, how can I help?”, yeah, he said that. After that Wall Street has given him more money and no one got in trouble. Hope and change, right…
Obama has already had 2 ambassadors replaced, Nicole Avant, a music industry executive who raised at least $500,000, served as ambassador to the Bahamas until November, 2012 and Luxembourg Ambassador Cynthia Stroum, a Seattle venture capitalist who raised $500,000 for Obama. Both ambassadors were relieved, Avant for traveling excessively and Stroum for being aggressive, unusual and unallowed expenses and a greater interest in remodeling than being a diplomat. Clearly, they were both unqualified and these people are supposed to represent the US. Easy post or not, give me a break.
This brings us to our current round of ambassador appointees, 2 of who have never been to the countries they were appointed to and know little about the culture. Even Max Baucus, our new Beijing ambassador, admitted he was no expert on China, he’s from Montana, which is a state I adore, but it certainly is a far cry from Beijing.
I am not an expert on China.
This stuff has to stop. It is a sign that our government is out of control and continually spoiling the already spoiled. All of these appointees are independently rich, obviously, and don’t need the jobs they simply want to be called “ambassador” for the rest of their lives. I simply don’t know how anyone can defend Obama’s behavior anymore. Hell, the only thing he has changed in Washington is the golfing schedule at Andrews Air Force Base and Fort Beauvoir where he played golf 35 times during 2013 or once a week outings. Obama has played 150-160 rounds of golf since being elected which is once every 2 weeks, including winters, on average.
Obama feels your pain.
Don’t worry, Obama knows your pain, he feels it. Oh, if you raise $100,000 for his library I hear you can get in on a quick 9 with him. For the whole 18 you need to raise $250,000, no exceptions.