Have you thought about becoming an Ambassador, diplomat, or foreign dignitary? Well stop wasting your time trying to build a career… Just bundle a few million dollars in campaign money for your friendly Chicago-style politician, and help him become President. Once he’s in charge, you might even get a nomination to far-away-lands that you know nothing about!
At least, that’s how it seems to work judging by the administration’s latest nominee. Noah Mamet, has been nominated as the ambassador to Argentina. Noah is well traveled, but has admitted that he has never even visited Argentina… (Become a political crony, and visit new lands!)
Certainly, after bundling more than $1.7 million dollars for the President’s campaign efforts, he’s more than qualified for the post. Especially if it turns out that he speaks Spanish – a fact about which the State Department seems a little fuzzy.
“I don’t have his bio right here with me. But what I will convey is that uh, I think, like I said before, judging somebody’s effectiveness or what role they’ll play, or how strong of an ambassador they’ll be, you can’t do until they’ve spent some time working in the job in the country.”
Did the State Department spokesperson really say what I think she said? Is she channeling Nancy Pelosi? We know he never visited the country, and he may – or may not – speak Spanish… But apparently we should just let him be ambassador so we can find out whether or not he’s actually qualified. Confirm him to find out his qualifications! (Is there some sort of rule that today’s Democrats are not allowed to employ logic steps of verification before supporting an idea, bill or person?)
Noah Mamet’s nomination is not necessarily an isolated case. While political appointments for campaign bundlers is not anything exclusive to Obama, he certainly has adopted a keen understanding of the process. In his second term, our Campaigner in Chief has said “thank you” to 23 top campaign bundlers by appointing them to various diplomatic posts. Together, the 23 politically connected individuals fundraised more than $16 million dollars getting Team Obama elected (and re-elected). Even the liberally inclined Slate magazine has started to point out the “coincidental” relationship between political donors to Obama, and their subsequent appointments to cushy diplomatic posts.
And the best part about it? Back in 2007, when many of these future donors-turned-diplomats were first deciding to support the unknown Senator from Illinois, Obama railed against the practice of handing out political favors:
“They write the checks and you get stuck with the bills, they get the access while you get to write a letter, they think they own this government.” – Obama, 2007.
It’s not as if Mamet is being appointed as the US diplomatic resource on the study of underwater basket weaving. He is being nominated as the Ambassador to a nation that is currently undergoing worrisome economic upheaval. Inflation is growing, the central bank is struggling with its balance sheet, and the general population is growing increasingly fed up with economic conditions. And the man most qualified for the job is a guy who’s only real qualification is campaign fundraising?
Maybe it’s asking too much of a Chicago politician to refrain from handing out political favors to major donors. But couldn’t we at least nominate Obama donors with some degree of competency and qualification, or are those just too hard to find?