Despite his promises of change, President Barack Obama has kept tradition by naming top donors to plum ambassador posts, drawing fire from career US diplomats and causing dismay among some US allies.
Obama has been criticized for naming fund raisers with no diplomatic experience and who together drummed up well over a million dollars for his record-shattering campaign to be ambassadors to Britain, France and Japan.
“It’s an 18th-century practice we are continuing which no other major democratic country does,” said Ronald Neumann, a veteran ambassador and head of the American Academy of Diplomacy, a lobby of former senior diplomats.
“It’s not ‘change you can believe in,’ but it’s not terribly surprising,” said Neumann, referring to Obama’s campaign slogan.
Obama named Louis Susman, a former Citigroup banker in Chicago once dubbed the “vacuum cleaner” for his prowess sucking up money, as ambassador to London.
Obama also tapped two major California fund raisers – naming Charles Rivkin, the former producer of “The Muppets” children show, to Paris and Silicon Valley lawyer John Roos to Tokyo. Read More
UPDATED: JUNE 14
Obama taps more big donors for ambassadorships
Obama on Thursday tapped four big Democratic Party donors for plum ambassadorships in Europe and Latin America while naming six career diplomats to posts in Africa, the Mideast and the Pacific.
Washington lawyer Howard Gutman, who raised more than $500,000 for Obama’s campaign and personally contributed the maximum $4,600 to it, was nominated to be the next U.S. envoy to Belgium, the White House said in a statement.
Obama named former Virginia Lt. Gov. Donald Beyer to be ambassador to Switzerland and Luxembourg. Beyer, who made his money as a car dealer, raised more than $500,000 for Obama and also contributed $4,600 to his campaign, according to the center.
Vinai Thummalapally, a Colorado business executive and Obama friend who raised between $100,000 and $200,000 for the campaign and donated $4,500 to it, was named the next U.S. ambassador to Belize. Thummalapally’s wife, Barbara, contributed $2,800 to Obama, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Read More
Rewarding fund raisers sure is not the change Obama promised the American people now is it! Looks like a pay to play to me! If this isn’t pay to play what would you call it, does anyone have an answer?
(1) Why Let A Good Teacher Go?
(2) Document drop: The truth about ObamACORN
By Michelle Malkin