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Karl Puts State On Spot Over Ambassadors

ABC White House reporter Jonathan Karl trotted over to the State Department the other day to ask spokeswoman Jen Psaki whether U.S. ambassadors need have any qualifications other than the ability to make money and give it to President Obama.

Sure, all presidents send their donors to exotic locations at taxpayer expense to represent the United States, allowing them to bide their time at the embassy-palace while earning the right for the rest of their lives to go to their health club and have the help ask them, Would the ambassador like a fresh towel? But Karl points out in the video below that 37 percent of ambassadors appointed by Obama are political appointees, an amount he says is “considerably more” than either George W. Bush or Bill Clinton.

Photo by Keith KofflerKarl flashes “Don’t give me that nonsense” look
Photo by Keith Koffler
So much for Obama’s crusade to take money out of governing.

We recently learned that the man tapped to be ambassador to Argentina has never set foot there. Argentina is not some mango farm converted into a country. It has the second largest GDP in South America and a problematic leftist, authoritarian government. It’s big  F&$%ing deal.

Obama’s pick to represent us in Norway was recently caught in the act of not knowing squat about the place.

“That’s the goal,” Psaki says when asked if an ambassador should “have at least some basic knowledge of the country he is going to.”

The goal?

Psaki has a point though, that Karl’s seemingly outraged “How much does it cost to become an ambassador . . . in the Obama administration?” was surely scripted for TV.

But Karl has a point too when he notes, “It’s a serious question.”

32 Responses to Karl Puts State On Spot Over Ambassadors

  1. I’ve said many times before, Obama’s campaign promises were lies since there was nothing in his personal and professional experiences that proved that’s how he’d lead …. the Lightbringer criticized former Presidents and promised he would do things differently ! Remember how he compared himself to Lincoln and Reagan? (and yes, Republican voters were swayed too, it’s how he won).

    Flash forward five years, how’s this working out for us ? He’s made us miss Bush, Carter AND Nixon !

  2. After that exchange, Karl may get retitled J F&$%ing K.

    He could have phrased the question: “How much change does Obama believe in when it comes to outsourcing his donors?”

  3. Obama’s ambassadors have as much experience to be ambassadors as Psaki has being a State Department spokesperson. And that goes for her little blonde Obama operative friend as well.

  4. Walter Mondale, Mike Mansfield, and Tim Foley were all US ambassadors to Japan who had expertise in that region. It can be done, even by the Democrats–if the positions were not just being sold to the highest bidder. An ambassadorship to China or Japan would have been a better job for Geithner than Secretary of the Treasury as he is supposed to be fluent in their languages and knowledge of their countries.

  5. I did not appreciate her smart @&* response by stating: Always a TV question. It was a very important question, and as a U.S. citizen she should be concerned as well, instead of trying to be funny. She did not succeed, everyone understood his question, and her childish response.

  6. Giving generous political donors a gig as Ambassador to somewhere is a DC tradition used by all Presidents as a thank-you kinda thing.

    What irks , though, is that those so honored with an appointment couldn’t take the time or effort to log on to Wikipedia or some such site to learn something about the country they are about to, well, ambass.

  7. Karl pulled an interesting stunt on “This Week” yesterday. While showing a chart of deportations under both Bush and Obama, he verbally compared the lowest number from Bush (from 2001) with a high number for Obama (2010?) to show the contrast. Had he picked the top year for each, the difference would have been slight. (I’d provide a link, but have been unable to locate it)

  8. I need to correct everyone taking Barry to task for no transparency in his government. His ambassadors are perfect examples of Barry’s promise, the blunders, excuse me the ambassadors, are so transparent you can see from one ear out the other.

  9. Very similar to “Let’s pass the bill to see what is in it”. “Let’s appoint these sham ambassadors and then see what happens” Priceless.

  10. “I’d point you to my colleagues across the street”.

    Sure, just ask the Carnival Barker, he’ll give you an honest answer, as he always does”.