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.
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.”
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.”