WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

No end to despicable practice of appointing know-nothings as U.S. ambassadors

Obviously, no president or governor or senator is going to be able to keep every campaign promise.

In fact, it may be better to approach that question from the opposite side: Will that new president, governor, senator, etc., honor even a fraction of his/her campaign promises?

Obviously, circumstances can change (a president or governor may be stymied by the legislative branch) and one campaign promise may collide with another.

But how about promises which COULD be kept, if only a president stayed the course and thought about the interests of the country, rather than narrow political considerations?

I'm talking here about Ambassadorships. Candidate Barack Obama said he'd do away with the practice of appointing unqualified people to represent the United States in foreign capitals. But given candidate Obama's unprecedented political fundraising, you knew that promise would go unfulfilled.

Still, there's a difference between appointing a campaign donor who, nonetheless, has a solid grasp of world affairs, and appointing a know-nothing. All too often, our current president has appointed know-nothings, people who are just plain stupid, people who - frankly - only confirm the stereotype about stupid, ill-informed, non-metric, unilingual Americans.

The tragedy: Some would-be ambassadors have stumbled over questions so basic, a cursory examination of an almanac's entry for that country would have provided the easy answer. Some eight-year-olds with an interest in world geography could do better.

Columnist Margaret Carlson - not exactly a right-wing Obama basher - chronicles the good, the bad, and the ugly of U.S. ambassadorial nominees...


Posted at 7:23am on February 20, 2014 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Thu, Feb 20, 2014 12:12pm
"Candidate Barack Obama said he'd do away with the practice of appointing unqualified people to represent the United States in foreign capitals."

Candidate 0bama also said he would:

1. End the invasive surveillance programs...N.S.A. thrived.

2. End the abuse of power through Executive Orders...

3. End partisan politics...he calls his opponents his enemies and used the I.R.S. against the Tea Party.

4. Be the most open administration ever...his administration makes Nixon look open/honest.

The only promise kept by Candidate 0bama was the promise to fundamentally change this nation.

Thu, Feb 20, 2014 2:57pm
I'd have to agree with Earl on the above... But when one makes a hundred promises one probably accepts that numbers 99, 98, 97, and 96 may not get completed.

One's opponent might then say: well he shouldn't have made those promises if he wasn't able to get around to them.

Probably true. But in the reality of today's politics, none of those promises, zero, get enacted if one does not win.....

If one stops at 95 promises, and one's opponent continues past with promise #96,#97,#98,and #99, one's opponent just might prevail in the polls...

So point is: It will never change. It can never change. One has to win the election first, which means one has to promise first, then once in office, prioritize and start knocking them out based on one's own agenda, not the one dictated out on the campaign trail.

The reality is that if Romney or McCain had won, I'd be picking him apart for his lack of sincerity over promises he made as well, on which he did not deliver....

Of Earl's thrown-down gauntlets, only number one resonates with any serious merit. And only that one, which Republicans all seem too scared to touch, can cause a change in future leadership.

Mike from Delaware
Thu, Feb 20, 2014 3:13pm
I blame both parties for some of that list. Some of that was started [NSA] under Bush Jr., but kept alive and enhanced during Obama's time.

We've discussed the EO thing on the other thread already [bottom line is if Republicans believe Obama has violated the Constitution in his use of EO's, then officially go after him; right now it seems more like smoke and mirrors].

Republicans started Obama's administration by declaring their mission was to unseat Obama. So they started it. I give Obama a lot of credit, the first few years he did try to reach out to the G.O.P. and tried to work compromises, etc., with the Republicans, but got smacked each time by the G.O.P., so eventually he said, heck with it, why bother; can't say that I blame him, frankly. The I.R.S. stuff was out-of-line and wrong, but has been used by many Presidents in the past to get even with their opposition, so it wasn't invented by Obama, but he still should have been better than that.

Obama failed miserably with having an open government, especially with the Affordable Care Act[Obamacare], he lied big time, etc. Obama used weasel words, much like a teenager would do with a parent when he/she is trying to get something over on ole Mom and Dad. I hate being lied to. I may NOT like the truth, but I expect to be told the truth. Obama lost all credibility with me when he did that. Sadly, most politicians on both sides of the aisle lie.

Thu, Feb 20, 2014 5:26pm
Mike: N.S.A. started before Bush and 0bama...but only during this administration, did the agency spy on every American citizen.

Thu, Feb 20, 2014 7:38pm
Ground hog day!

Mike from Delaware
Fri, Feb 21, 2014 7:58am
EarlGrey: The ramping up of domestic spying via Homeland Security, started during the Bush Jr years after 911, and continued to expand under Obama.

Sun, Feb 23, 2014 4:20am
John Bolton: Greatest ambassador ever!

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