Bidding Season: An Ambassadorship to Mexico, Please

Posted: 1:22 am EDT
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Capricia Marshall was the State Department’s chief of protocol during the Clinton tenure. Heather Samuelson was the White House Liaison at the State Department from January 2009 – March 2013. Politico wrote about Samuelson last year in relation to the Clinton emails. The FOIA released email is available to download here (PDF).





Riding with HRC and what’s this about tolerable ambos?

Posted: 7:08 pm EDT
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Uh-oh! What’s this about”tolerable” ambassadors? HRC was Secretary of State from January 21, 2009 – February 1, 2013.  The email below was sent early morning on a Sunday, July 15, 2012.  According to, HRC was on travel from July 14-​16, 2012 in Cairo and Alexandria, Egypt where she met with President Mohammed Morsi, Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr, Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi, and Christian leaders. She also dedicated the Consulate General at Alexandria.


Officially In: Peter A. Selfridge—From WH to State Dept’s Chief of Protocol

— Domani Spero

On December 12, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Peter A. Selfridge as the next Chief of Protocol, with the rank of Ambassador during his tenure of service at the Department of State. The WH released the following brief bio:

Peter A. Selfridge is currently the Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Advance & Operations at the White House, a position he has held since 2011.  He previously served as Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Advance in 2011, and Director of Advance for the Vice President from 2009 to 2011.  Mr. Selfridge served as Deputy Director of Advance for both the Presidential Transition Office and Obama for America from 2008 to early 2009.  Prior to this, he worked as the Los Angeles City Director at the Clinton Climate Initiative and as a Public Affairs Consultant from 2005 to 2007.  From 2003 to 2005, Mr. Selfridge served as Associate Director in the Office of Scheduling and Advance for John Kerry for President.  He was Senior Associate and Associate at Citigate Communications/Citigate Sard Verbinnen from 2001 to 2003.  Mr. Selfridge was a Media Logistics Coordinator for the Gore-Lieberman campaign in 2000 and from 1997 to 2000, he served as a Policy Analyst for The City of New York, Department of Citywide Administrative Services.  Mr. Selfridge was Director of Scheduling Correspondence and Deputy Director in the Office of Scheduling and Advance at the White House from 1995 to 1997.  From 1993 to 1995, he served as Legislative Correspondent and Staff Assistant in the office of Senator Tom Harkin.

Mr. Selfridge received a B.A. from the University of Iowa and an M.I.P.P. from Johns Hopkins University.

If confirmed, Mr. Selfridge would succeed Capricia Marshall who was appointed Chief of Protocol from from 2009 until her departure this past summer.  When her departure was reported by WaPo in May 2013, Reliable Source noted that she was the “most visible link between State’s tight-knit group of Clinton loyalists and the Obama White House” and one of the last of the Hillary Clinton insiders at the State Department to depart.  This Daily Beast farewell piece says that one of her accomplishments was “Creating the Patrons of Diplomacy Program with Secretary Clinton and raising $20 million to endow the elegant Diplomatic Reception Rooms.”

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Related item:

December 12, 2013 | President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

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JFK is in the building, and we’re not Just Kidding!

Protocol’s Capricia Marshall with Under Sectary for Management Patrick Kennedy met Senator Kerry at the C. Street entrance.  The arrival ceremony includes a brief welcome speech from Susan Johnson, the president of AFSA and an introduction by Deputy Secretary Tom Nides (who actually bowed to 68th).  On the front row “seats”, you might see several of the under secretaries and assistant secretaries, the Director General of the Foreign Service and the USAID administrator.

Below is Secretary Kerry’s arrival in Foggy Bottom in a 23:44 video. The text is here.

The State Department also announced:

#SecKerry will start tweeting from @StateDept. Tweets from him will have his initials -JK

The use of the three-letter initials is a routine practice over there. So Hillary was referred to as HRC.  John F. Kerry would have been JFK.  Except now, it seems he’ll be referred to as “JK” as the three letter initial is already taken.

WaPo’s In The Loop helpfully points out:

“…[N]ow that Kerry’s in the high-stakes world of international diplomacy, he might be in danger of sending mixed messages over a medium where meaning is easily lost. His sign-off, “JK,” for instance, is also online shorthand for “just kidding.”

Folks, think about it.