|The $800,000 Woman|
Soap opera producer Colleen Bell doesn't know what the U.S.
interests are in Hungary - yet, she's the new ambassador. It only
required $800,000 in cold hard cash to the Democrats.
"Corruptus in Extremis"
- Noah Mamet bundled at least $1 million in campaign donations to President Obama's two presidential election campaigns, and now he's in line to be the U.S. ambassador to Argentina.
- When Sen. Marco Rubio asked him during his confirmation hearing if he had ever visited the South American country, he admitted that he hadn't.
- Last month the Obama nominee for a similar post in Norway demonstrated a lack of knowledge about that nation's political structure and said he had never been there.
- Newly minted ambassador Max Baucus, now headed to Beijing, freely admitted in his own hearing that he's 'no real expert on China'.
- The new ambassador to Hungary is a soap opera producer and prolific Democratic fundraiser who couldn't tell senators what America's strategic interests are in that country.
In the latest blunder for an Obama administration ambassadorial nominee, prolific Democratic campaign fundraiser Noah Mamet admitted Thursday that he has never been to Argentina – the nation where he wants to represent U.S. interests as America's top diplomat.
The White House has tapped him to be the U.S. ambassador to the South American country.
'Mr. Mamet have you been to Argentina,' asked Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio during the Californian's confirmation hearing reports the UK Daily Mail.
'I haven't had the opportunity yet to be there,' he admitted, ashen-faced.
'I've traveled pretty extensively around the world, but I haven't yet had the chance.'
Mamet, like other ambassadorial nominees, raised copious amounts of campaign cash for President Obama – at least $500,000 during the 2012 campaign cycle, and another $500,000 or more in 2008 according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics.
There's nothing new about fundraisers being rewarded with cushy posts overseas, but they usually have some genuine qualifications for directing U.S. foreign policy in the country where they end up.
Mamet's embarrassing showing comes after a similar face-palm moment from George Tsunis in January who told Arizona Sen. John McCain that he, too, had never visited the country where he asked to be posted.
'Mr. Tsunis, have you been to Norway?' McCain asked.
'I have not,' Tsunis admitted.
The Long Island hotel magnate who has bundled and contributed at least $1.3 million to Obama and other Democrats, proceeded to deliver what one Scandinavian newspaper called a 'faltering, incoherent performance,' saying among other things that Norway has a 'president.'
The nation is actually a constitutional monarchy, much like the United Kingdom, with both a King and a parliament.
Tsunis also gaffed when he described the Progress Party, an anti-immigration political group with seven cabinet ministers among its members, as a part of 'fringe elements' that 'spew their hatred.'
'Norway has been very quick to denounce them,' he said, before McCain corrected him and pointed out that they are an integral part of Norway's coalition government.
Tsunis once contributed $50,000 to McCain's Senate campaign before defecting to the Democratic side and collecting more than $1 million to send Barack Obama to the White House.
He won Senate confirmation this week, as did Max Baucus, a former U.S. senator who is to be the U.S. ambassador to China.
Faced with a tough question last week during his confirmation hearing about Chinese military provocation against Japan in the East China Sea, Baucus said plainly, 'I'm no expert on China.'
The prize for ambassadorial cluelessness, though, may go to Colleen Bell, an Obama bundler who put $800,000 in play for Democrats. She's trading in her work as producer of the soap opera 'The Bold and the Beautiful' to become ambassador to Hungary.
Asked by McCain to describe America's strategic interests in that nation, she launched into a rambling response worthy of a teen beauty pageant contestant.
'Well, we have – our strategic interests, in terms of what are our key priorities in Hungary,' Bell began, 'I think our key priorities are to improve upon, as I mentioned, the security relationship and also the law enforcement and to promote business opportunities, increase trade ... Our strategic interests are to work collaboratively as NATO allies.'
'To work to promote and protect the security, both – for both countries and for – and for the world,' she rambled on, 'to continue working together on the cause of human rights around the world, to build that side of our relationship while also maintaining and pursuing some difficult conversations that might be necessary in the coming years.'
|The Million Dollar Man|
Noah Mamet has never been to Argentina, but because he gave the Democrats $1 million he's President Obama's pick to be the U.S.' next ambassador to the South American nation.