We are the only country in the developed world that does this over and over and over again. Remember when Russia sent one of its top diplomats to the UN and we sent our amateurs? Yep, that wasn’t fun to watch. The Russians must have wondered, “how did we get this lucky?”
The Gordon Sonland episode during the first impeachment trial may have shocked people to attention but it did not dampen the interests of political donors, nor that of the current administration. In fact, this is a tradition gleefully shared by the Democratic and Republican administrations. Of course, promises will be made, now and again but in the end, this will never get fixed. Why? Both parties benefit from the practice of using plum ambassadorships as rewards to friends, donors, political allies, and supporters. Also if you’re a congressional representative, would you really shut the door on a potential new career in diplomacy when the time comes for you to retire from politics? Nah, that would be silly!
Obviously, Congressional representatives think the job is easy peasy it does not require diplomatic experience, and it can be done by anyone with good manners and a nice bark.
Now, we’re just wondering which party would be the first to award an ambassadorship to man’s best friend! Because why not?
Wouldn’t a well trained dog like Major could do just as well? Just get Major an excellent DCM who will not crash his party! And really, Major is the President’s best pal in DC, who wouldn’t want to be friends with him?
Somebody give that dog an agrément!
Note that Palmerston did run Whitehall for a bit, and Larry, the Cat, well, he does lord over 10 Downing Street and poor Boris. They’re two nice inspiration; Palmerston and Larry, that is, not Boris. Pardon me? Incitatus, too? Well, that horse was never made a consul contrary to ancient rumors.
Listen. Here’s the thing. If you recommend Major for an ambassadorship and senator cruz barks about everything (except the insurrection), Major could just as quickly bark back about doggy biscuits or anything at all under the sun. The Senators could then have their bark-a-bark marathon, and it’ll be on a double pay-per view at C-SPAN and DOGTV.
In any case, who can blame entry level diplomats considering their career options with this reality in mind (not the doggy ambassador, silly!). Not that all career diplomats get to become ambassadors, of course. But most of them will get to babysit most amateur ambassadors unless Elon Musk develops an FSD for ambassadorships. When that happens, folks can just skip FSI’s three-week Ambassadorial Seminar, and get the George Kennan chip (with two ambassadorships). Or level up to a Thomas Pickering chip (with seven ambassadorships). You can’t cram 30 years experience into a three-week seminar, how could you? But Elon can put all that in an embedable chip!
You think we’re making fun of the Senate? Nah, won’t dream of it. But don’t you think Congress is now just having fun with us since elected reps don’t really think the general public cares?
I'm also thrilled to recommend any politician to @POTUS as the next Admiral to the United States Indo-Pacific Command! While we're at it, why don't we also recommend them as top generals to SOUTHCOM, or SPACECOM? Holymoly macaroni, why stop at ambassadorships now? https://t.co/EQT7DiFqyS
— Diplopundit (@Diplopundit) October 20, 2021
Scoop: Sen. Robert Menendez has asked Biden to nominate George Tsunis, a major Democratic donor, for an ambassadorship.
As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Menendez has the ability to slow-walk any ambassadorial nominee. https://t.co/rJt29cILic
— Axios (@axios) June 9, 2021
Somehow, the folks over at Share America are missing a few important steps; who’s going to tell them that their infographic needs more work?
Individuals nominated by the President of the United States to serve as ambassadors are required to go through a series of steps before they can be formally appointed. Learn more ⤵️https://t.co/2fMKcoS4l6
— アメリカ大使館 (@usembassytokyo) October 21, 2021
There are political AMBs and there are political AMBs. A lifetime ago in Mexico our AMB was Charles Pilliod, a former Goodyear exec with extensive experience in the region. Taking one with another he was one of the best AMBs, political or career, there was. Advice to young people who want to be AMB to a country most people could find on a map some day: join a political party and rise through those ranks.