If you have watched anything other than the Olympics and reporting on the Olympics on TV lately, you have probably heard about the latest batch of friends whom President Obama has nominated for ambassador positions. (Well, actually, I don’t know about the MSM, but various programs on Fox News have covered it.) In case you aren’t familiar with the story, it is pretty sad. In a nutshell,…
It’s bad enough that Obama doesn’t appear to take foreign policy seriously, but his current crop of nominees — mostly lawyers and businesspeople who are/were donors and bundlers of big bucks for the Obama campaign and for Democrats in general — are even worse than the last batch.
- The nominee for ambassador to Iceland said he’d never been there.
- The nominee for ambassador to Argentina said he’d never been there.
- The Hungary nominee’s answer to “What are our strategic interests in Hungary?” was incoherent.
- The nominee for ambassador to Norway said he’d never been there. He referred to the country’s president, when it has none. (It has a prime minister, though, which is, like, pretty close, right?) He said the government had been “quick to denounce” a faction which actually happens to be part of its own coalition. (D’oh!) It just got worse when Sen. McCain called him on it and he tried to backtrack.
- Even former Senator Max Baucus, our new ambassador to China, when asked about an important national security matter, admitted, “I’m no real expert on China…”.
In response to all of this, I am of two minds. Here are my two reactions/responses:
Response 1: STOP, already!
Honestly, Mr. President, your State Department is already a joke. Hardly anyone takes the U.S. seriously on the world stage, anymore. Don’t you think it would be a good idea to at least find potential appointees who have a clue about the nation you want to send them to? Especially when those nations are our NATO allies, and, thus, players in international security and world peace? Don’t you think it behooves you to place people in those positions who are informed not only on your administration’s policies and desires but on the relevant local and international politics, etc.? Perhaps it would help if they had already demonstrated some basic knowledge and interest about the countries in question? Maybe? Ya think?
Let’s see some qualified candidates for a change, Mr. President. People who have actually done their homework and maybe even have some experience in foreign diplomacy. OK? Yeah, that’d be great.
Response 2: Mr. President, how much for the ambassadorship to New Zealand?
I realize I have no experience in diplomacy or international relations, and I have never actually been to New Zealand. But, I’m not too worried about that, since it has been established that they aren’t requirements for such appointments. However, I do know where New Zealand is on a map — i.e., somewhere near Australia. (Or, is it Middle-Earth?) I speak one of the official languages — i.e., I can do a reasonable impression of Russell Crowe. I have even read most — well, some — of the Wikipedia entry on New Zealand, so I know that they have some awesome mountains, lots of weird plants and animals, and their form of government is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy. Plus, I would enjoy living there and am reeeaally motivated to get and keep this job, because:
b) New Zealand is home to Temuera Morrison (who played Jango Fett in Star Wars II & III and Abin Sur in Green Lantern), and I think he’s cool;
c) I know three definitions for the word “kiwi”, and I like saying it, too (E.g., “Kiwi. Kiwi. Kiwi, kiwi, kiwi, kiwi, kiwi.”); and,
d) Much of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies were/are filmed in New Zealand, and the actual, life-size village of Hobbiton is preserved there, which is where I would like to relocate the embassy. (Don’t worry the taxpayers will cover the move.)
The more I think about it, Mr. President, you should waive the donation. I would be the best ambassadorial nominee you have and would bring a modicum of respect to the office and, by extension, to your administration. (Frankly, you could use the help.) I promise not to throw lavish parties (compared to yours, certainly), consort with hookers, or insult my host country. So, how about we forget about any donations to your campaign, you pay for all my moving expenses to NZ, and we’ll call it even. Deal?
P.S. My parents were wondering if the U.S. embassy in Rome is looking for a new occupant? (They have even been to Italy a couple times.) Hint, hint.