1. Welcome! Please take a few seconds to create your free account to post threads, make some friends, remove a few ads while surfing and much more. ClutchFans has been bringing fans together to talk Houston Sports since 1996. Join us!

Campaign Bundlers get Ambassador Roles Despite never having been to the Countries!

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by Rocketman1981, Feb 7, 2014.

  1. Rocketman1981

    Rocketman1981 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,499
    Likes Received:
    581
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...gn-cash-bundler-says-hes-NEVER-Argentina.html


    Obama nominee for ambassador to Argentina says he's NEVER been to the country

    Noah Mamet bundled at least $1 million in campaign donations to President Obama's two presidential election campaigns, and now he's in line to be the U.S. ambassador to Argentina
    When Sen. Marco Rubio asked him during his confirmation hearing if he had ever visited the South American country, he admitted that he hadn't
    Last month the Obama nominee for a similar post in Norway demonstrated a lack of knowledge about that nation's political structure and said he had never been there
    Newly minted ambassador Max Baucus, now headed to Beijing, freely admitted in his own hearing that he's 'no real expert on China'
    The new ambassador to Hungary is a soap opera producer and prolific Democratic fundraiser who couldn't tell senators what America's strategic interests are in that country

    By David Martosko, U.s. Political Editor

    PUBLISHED: 01:56 EST, 7 February 2014 | UPDATED: 11:15 EST, 7 February 2014




    In the latest blunder for an Obama administration ambassadorial nominee, prolific Democratic campaign fundraiser Noah Mamet admitted Thursday that he has never been to Argentina – the nation where he wants to represent U.S. interests as America's top diplomat.


    The White House has tapped him to be the U.S. ambassador to the South American country.


    'Mr. Mamet have you been to Argentina,' asked Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio during the Californian's confirmation hearing.

    SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO





    Ambassador: Noah Mamet has never been to Argentina, but he's President Obama's pick to be the U.S.' next ambassador to the South American nation
    +4

    Ambassador: Noah Mamet has never been to Argentina, but he's President Obama's pick to be the U.S.' next ambassador to the South American nation






    'I haven't had the opportunity yet to be there,' he admitted, ashen-faced.


    'I've traveled pretty extensively around the world, but I haven't yet had the chance.'


    Mamet, like other ambassadorial nominees, raised copious amounts of campaign cash for President Obama – at least $500,000 during the 2012 campaign cycle, and another $500,000 or more in 2008 according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics.


    There's nothing new about fundraisers being rewarded with cushy posts overseas, but they usually have some genuine qualifications for directing U.S. foreign policy in the country where they end up.


    Mamet's embarrassing showing comes after a similar face-palm moment from George Tsunis in January who told Arizona Sen. John McCain that he, too, had never visited the country where he asked to be posted.


    'Mr. Tsunis, have you been to Norway?' McCain asked.


    'I have not,' Tsunis admitted.




    More...
    Four severed human heads found in Mexican town where vigilantes are doing battle with ruthless Knights Templar drug cartel
    Daughter, 5, of former Miss Venezuela starts school in Florida one month after parents' murder in a roadside attack





    Norway: George Tsunis has never been to Norway, and doesn't know much about it - but he's our new Ambassador
    +4

    Norway: George Tsunis has never been to Norway, and doesn't know much about it - but he's our new Ambassador



    The Long Island hotel magnate who has bundled and contributed at least $1.3 million to Obama and other Democrats, proceeded to deliver what one Scandinavian newspaper called a 'faltering, incoherent performance,' saying among other things that Norway has a 'president.'


    The nation is actually a constitutional monarchy, much like the United Kingdom, with both a King and a parliament.


    Tsunis also gaffed when he described the Progress Party, an anti-immigration political group with seven cabinet ministers among its members, as a part of 'fringe elements' that 'spew their hatred.'


    'Norway has been very quick to denounce them,' he said, before McCain corrected him and pointed out that they are an integral part of Norway's coalition government.


    Tsunis once contributed $50,000 to McCain's Senate campaign before defecting to the Democratic side and collecting more than $1 million to send Barack Obama to the White House.





    Hungary: Soap opera producer Colleen Bell doesn't know what the U.S. interests are in Hungary - yet, she's the new ambassador
    +4

    Hungary: Soap opera producer Colleen Bell doesn't know what the U.S. interests are in Hungary - yet, she's the new ambassador



    He won Senate confirmation this week, as did Max Baucus, a former U.S. senator who is to be the U.S. ambassador to China.


    Faced with a tough question last week during his confirmation hearing about Chinese military provocation against Japan in the East China Sea, Baucus said plainly, 'I'm no expert on China.'


    The prize for ambassadorial cluelessness, though, may go to Colleen Bell, an Obama bundler who put $800,000 in play for Democrats. She's trading in her work as producer of the soap opera 'The Bold and the Beautiful' to become ambassador to Hungary.


    Asked by McCain to describe America's strategic interests in that nation, she launched into a rambling response worthy of a teen beauty pageant contestant.





    China: Newly crowned Ambassador to China Max Baucus freely admits that he's 'no real expert' on the Asian nation
    +4

    China: Newly crowned Ambassador to China Max Baucus freely admits that he's 'no real expert' on the Asian nation



    'Well, we have – our strategic interests, in terms of what are our key priorities in Hungary,' Bell began, 'I think our key priorities are to improve upon, as I mentioned, the security relationship and also the law enforcement and to promote business opportunities, increase trade ... Our strategic interests are to work collaboratively as NATO allies.'


    'To work to promote and protect the security, both – for both countries and for – and for the world,' she rambled on, 'to continue working together on the cause of human rights around the world, to build that side of our relationship while also maintaining and pursuing some difficult conversations that might be necessary in the coming years.'
     
  2. HR Dept

    HR Dept Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2012
    Messages:
    6,792
    Likes Received:
    1,223
    Come on now, this is nothing new. Presidents have been doing this for YEARS.

    Here's a NY Times Article talking about this stuff from way back in 1989.
     
  3. mc mark

    mc mark Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 1999
    Messages:
    26,195
    Likes Received:
    468
    But never has a president done it while being black.
     
    2 people like this.
  4. GladiatoRowdy

    GladiatoRowdy Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2002
    Messages:
    16,596
    Likes Received:
    494
    Cushy Ambassador jobs have long been used to pay back large campaign contributors. It isn't like Argentina is some hotspot for diplomatic activity for which the Ambassador needs to be prepared, the position is little more than window dressing.
     
  5. bigtexxx

    bigtexxx Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2002
    Messages:
    26,899
    Likes Received:
    2,246
    Disgusting. You got the money, you too can buy an ambassador position...

    Obama
     
  6. GladiatoRowdy

    GladiatoRowdy Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2002
    Messages:
    16,596
    Likes Received:
    494
    And Bush, and Clinton, and Bush...

    You really have trouble meting out blame to the appropriate parties, don't you?
     
  7. white lightning

    white lightning Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2002
    Messages:
    2,538
    Likes Received:
    692
    Then you are certainly disgusted by Bush who provided ambassador positions to over 40 donors who raised more than 100k for his campaign. This is all well documented. Are you really this blinded by partisanship?
     
  8. chrispbrown

    chrispbrown Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Messages:
    1,907
    Likes Received:
    100
    FIFY. Agreed? Or is it just another fact-less knee jerk reaction?
     
  9. white lightning

    white lightning Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2002
    Messages:
    2,538
    Likes Received:
    692
    Texx, I think this comment really weakens your brand.
     
  10. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    53,165
    Likes Received:
    40,872
    and Reagan and so on...

    Nothing new here.

    In a lot of cases ambassadors act as figureheads while much of the work is done by State Department experts assigned to the embassies.
     
  11. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 1999
    Messages:
    34,003
    Likes Received:
    13,304
    I think its a shame given we have a corps of diplomatic professionals who have the education and experience from a long and dedicated career, but have to play second fiddle to some nub. I think its good to keep the historical context of this sort of political favoritism, but honestly it's corruption, its results must be suboptimal, and I fault Obama for engaging in it even if it is business-as-usual. Whether an appointee has physically been to a country is a dumb criticism (and probably a nicety that will be exploited later for cover), but that a candidate has no relevant experience and got the job as a transparent political favor should be severely criticized.
     
  12. Rocketman1981

    Rocketman1981 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,499
    Likes Received:
    581
    I love the 'everybody else is doing it' as opposed to clearly seeing what a horrendous practice this is.

    If only the status quo was what we expected of those we elect to represent us,
    what a wonderful country we would be.

    Never Even having Visited the Country?? Do they even speak the language?
     
  13. CometsWin

    CometsWin Breaker Breaker One Nine

    Joined:
    May 15, 2000
    Messages:
    28,028
    Likes Received:
    13,046
    It is a horrendous practice but it's been a standard practice for... ever. Trying to pretend it's anything different is bigtexxx silly.
     
  14. mc mark

    mc mark Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 1999
    Messages:
    26,195
    Likes Received:
    468
    Apparently you can buy a senator too.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    53,165
    Likes Received:
    40,872
    It's not good but unless the person being appointed is a complete crass idiot who is going to offend the host countries for the most part not that big of a deal. In most countries that are on good terms with the US and not particularly strategically important the ambassador doesn't do much but host cultural events.
     
  16. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    53,165
    Likes Received:
    40,872
    And I suppose you were outraged about this when the President was a Republican.
     
  17. False

    False Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Messages:
    571
    Likes Received:
    99
    I don't think anyone will assert that campaign donors, campaign staffers, campaign supporters and ideological supporters all getting the nod over people who are career experts in the field is a net positive. The question then should be on average what is the net harm done by each appointment. I guess the answer could be arrived at by balancing the level of power each appointment exerts, the actual skill (or lack thereof) of the appointee at the job, as well as the chance and degree of harm that can be possibly be caused by the appointee if they are indeed incompetent at their job.

    Looking at the appointment that way, on the hierarchy of damaging political kick backs, I'd say that the Ambassador to Argentina is near the bottom. Some political appointments might not even be damaging at all even if in theory they are somehow "horrendous things to do."

    What makes this worse than any other political appointment in your eyes and in your estimation what is the average amount of damage this will do to American interests?

    Additionally, if you view this as horrendous, how do you propose to correct the fact that political appointees exist? Where do you draw the line? Are you just as upset about the fact that Obama made a politically motivated appointment of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court as you are about this appointment? I mean, she hadn't ever served as a judge before she became one of the highest judges in the land.

    Perhaps you are most upset by the fact that this person was a donor and they used their money to buy a desired political outcome that they desired. If you are upset by this person's money to secure a desired political outcome, how is that any different from any company or individual spending their money in support or against any politician or law or regulation?

    I guess to me it seems a pretty trifling place to start if you are seeking to attack the confluence of money on politics, but good on you from starting somewhere. I look forward to you being a staunch defender of a more pure more meritocratic democracy where money doesn't buy political outcomes.
     
  18. bucket

    bucket Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    1,724
    Likes Received:
    60
    What I'm getting from this thread is that all sorts of moronic governmental practices will continue indefinitely because during any given presidency, roughly 50% of the population will be willing to defend them.
     
    1 person likes this.
  19. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 1999
    Messages:
    60,938
    Likes Received:
    28,438
    Basically

    Rocket River
     
  20. Classic

    Classic Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2007
    Messages:
    6,101
    Likes Received:
    608
    What does it take to be an ambassador? If these people are unqualified, what are the qualifications? Got no problem hookin up your boys, {isn't that the point of politics?}, but they should be qualified & justified appointments.

    From the highlighted info these would appear unqualified so it goes beyond acceptable cronyism--if there is such a thing--no matter one's politics.
     

Share This Page