Ambassador Appointments

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Much is being made of recent nominations for ambassador positions. Nominees not having ever visited the country to which they are being nominated. Not being fully versed in the current political situation of the country. Being rewarded for fund raising for the sitting president. Big whoop!

Ambassador positions have always been political plums for presidential supporters and fund raisers. Of recent presidents, Reagan and Carter led the way with almost 40% of their nominees being party supporters as opposed to career State Dept. employees. Obama surpasses Clinton and the two Bushes but not by much. Let's be realistic. How much does the nominee for Iceland need to know before he is confirmed? Do we really believe he will immediately jet off to take up his post before being fully briefed by experts from the State Dept? Do you think he's out there by his lonesome with no one to advise him?

Most ambassodors are career diplomats. Especially those in countries with which relations are delicate or fraught with sensitive issues. Even those who are not professional and are in low impact locations have a staff of career State Dept, employees to advise them, as well as a CIA operative or three. This is another example of the opposition party (now the Republicans but could just as well be the Democrats) and the media ginning up controversy where there really is not any meat on the bones.


Latest Activity: Feb 17, 2014 at 12:42 PM


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theflyonthewall commented on Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 16:01 PM

On the other hand,there is the classic story about the American ambassador to Eqypt who awarded local dignitaries with pigskin luggage.It's always better to choose the smart poor guy over the dumb rich guy.Perhaps it really is time to drive a stake through the heart of the spoils system.

Political plums gum up the works at every level of government.For example, political plums(lemons?) are hard at work on the Board of Regents and it aint pretty.

Bryant commented on Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 16:46 PM

Not talking about all political plums, just ambassadorial appointments. Others are a different topic altogether.

theflyonthewall commented on Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 07:00 AM

The plumper the plum, the less plummy the plummor or the Plummee.


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