Video: John Adams, James Monroe, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and …

posted at 11:21 am on December 11, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

ABC’s Jake Tapper put the White House on the spot last week, asking Jay Carney about rumors that Vogue editor and big Barack Obama donor/bundler Anna Wintour might end up with a plum ambassadorship to either the UK or France.  Wintour earned the nickname “Nuclear Wintour” for her interpersonal skills and inspired the villain in the novel and film The Devil Wears Prada.  Tapper asked Carney whether a diplomat should be, y’know, diplomatic, eliciting laughter from the press room.

Tapper’s back in this video today, taking a lighthearted approach but asking a serious question about the assignment of key diplomatic positions and their relation to hard cash:

But this isn’t about Wintour in particular; this is about money. Wintour’s fundraising for President Obama’s reelection campaign is really the only reason we’re having this discussion. She has raised millions of dollars for the president’s reelection.

“We urge the political parties to move away from the practice of financial campaign contributions, and sale, essentially, of ambassadorships,” says Susan Johnson, president of the American Foreign Service Association. Johnson has been in the foreign service for 32 years.

President Obama ranks somewhere in the middle when it comes to rewarding non-career diplomats with these posts. Jimmy Carter did it the least, and Ronald Reagan did it the most. Obama has give more than 30 percent of his ambassadorships to political appointees — more than did President George W. Bush.

“Thirty-plus percent of all the ambassadorships is too much to be going to non-career people,” says Johnson. “And if you look at the 30 percent, that’s worldwide. If you just look at Europe or what were the G7 or G8, it’s 85 percent over four decades going to non-career people.”

Yes, and many of these wealthy people didn’t earn their money by following in the footsteps of Norman Vincent Peale or Pollyanna, either.  As Tapper points out, this is a problem that transcends party divisions and ideologies, too.  But even considering someone of Wintour’s rather notorious reputation for two of the most prestigious and important diplomatic assignments seems a little beyond the vogue.


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Geraghty got it right. There’s no WAY Wintour is even the most qualified OBAMA BUNDLER for this job.

I try, daily, not to be embarrassed about my country, because I love it too much. This might be a bridge too far.

Red Cloud on December 11, 2012 at 11:25 AM

John Adams, James Monroe, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and …

posted at 11:21 am on December 11, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

…and a rich ginger cow…and the Earth is flat…and Obama is not a hypocrite.

The USA has had her last shred of decency destroyed by the Obamas.

Let the circus move on.

Schadenfreude on December 11, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Meh. I don’t care much about the uproar of big campaign contributors getting plum ambassadorships. Friends of those in power get these things. It’s not unique to either party or to the US or to modern times. The real work is done by career foreign service personnel anyway.

However, having such a grating personality as our face to one of our closest allies does say a lot about how The Whine feels about our position in the world.

rbj on December 11, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Video: John Adams, James Monroe, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and …

Davy Crockett!!!

No, this has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the Ambassadorship to either France or the Court of St James, but I, shamelessly, couldn’t “resist we much” the Founding Fathers’ opening to encourage you to read a piece of awesomely awesome history that will make your day, make you swear you can see the rockets’ red glare and hear the bombs bursting in air, bring a tear to your eye, and make you want to kill most elected officials and 51% of the population for the premeditated murder-in-progress of America:

“I Cannot Vote For You. You Defy The Constitution.”

Resist We Much on December 11, 2012 at 11:30 AM

She represents everything they are.If the Obama administration wants to make a fool of itself, why should we stop them?

Vera71 on December 11, 2012 at 11:33 AM

Can someone please tell her that 1972 just called and Lee Grant wants her hairstyle back.

Rixon on December 11, 2012 at 11:34 AM

America on fire, a prairie fire if you will.

faraway on December 11, 2012 at 11:35 AM

Regarding Obama’s Foreign Policy, America is no in the shallow end of the Kiddie Pool.

Amb. Chris Stevens remains unavailable for comment.

kingsjester on December 11, 2012 at 11:35 AM

I know that this is suppose to be light hearted fun but it really annoys the living stuffing out of me. Where was Mr. Tapper when Obama was handing out billions of taxpayer money to bundlers with sketchy businesses, who promptly went belly up but managed to enrich themselves in the process? I doubt France or the U.K. need much more than a professional party giver as an ambassador, hardly hot spots, and she probably qualifies for that. But the real problem for me is that Tapper will use this stupid concern as an example of holding Obama’s feet to the fire, and giving him a pass on the serious stuff.

Cindy Munford on December 11, 2012 at 11:38 AM

Barry rewards his friends. It’s the ‘Chicago way’.

GarandFan on December 11, 2012 at 11:38 AM

There’s a lot of humor in the incongruity, the disparity between Wintour’s personality and the diplomacy needed from an ambassador. I wanna see some some political cartoon on this. :)

Paul-Cincy on December 11, 2012 at 11:42 AM

Will she have security?

Curtiss on December 11, 2012 at 11:44 AM

How about a Wintour cartoon similar to this Mayor Rahm Emanuel cartoon:
http://www.davegranlund.com/cartoons/wp-content/uploads/color-emanuel-mayor-web.jpg

Paul-Cincy on December 11, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Let’s remember Cynthia Stroum. A woman who got to be Ambassador to Luxembourg by fundraising for the rat-eared wonder. Granted, Luxembourg is not Paris or London but the woman only delivered $500K. For all that it would be pretty hard to screw up that posting but she was gone in a year amid charges of “leadership deficiencies,” excessive entertainment spending, and “internal issues.”

Let’s put it this way, when career diplomats are requesting to leave Luxembourg for postings in Iraq and Afghanistan you pretty much have to conclude there is a problem! There is always tension between the careerists and the political appointees but 30% of ambassadorships being given out as rewards to fundraisers is disgusting.

Happy Nomad on December 11, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Whatever. She’ll probably still be less of an embarassment than Papa Joe Kennedy … and dally with fewer married women than Franklin.

M240H on December 11, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Will she have security?

Curtiss on December 11, 2012 at 11:44 AM

If there is any justice left on earth, it will be former Ambassador Christopher Stevens security crew.

SWalker on December 11, 2012 at 11:49 AM

She represents everything they are.If the Obama administration wants to make a fool of itself, why should we stop them?

Vera71 on December 11, 2012 at 11:33 AM

Because she is not being pushed to represent the rat-eared-wonder in the Court of St. James. She is being pushed to represent the United States of America. Her appointment makes a fool of us all.

Happy Nomad on December 11, 2012 at 11:50 AM

The thought of John McCain questioning Wintour in a confirmation hearing has me all tingly.

rockmom on December 11, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Her appointment makes a fool of us all.

Happy Nomad on December 11, 2012 at 11:50 AM

I think we have had two elections that have made that perfectly clear.

Cindy Munford on December 11, 2012 at 11:51 AM

If she torques off the Brits and makes them resent Obummer’s low opinion of them, I’m all for Ambassador Wintour. Unfortunately, they will continue to love Obummer (because he’s “historic”!), but she will make them sneer at America in general.

KS Rex on December 11, 2012 at 11:52 AM

At least she will be out of her job and out of the country.
You think the Brits or French give a whit about her?

albill on December 11, 2012 at 11:55 AM

However, having such a grating personality as our face to one of our closest allies does say a lot about how The Whine feels about our position in the world.

rbj on December 11, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Your premise is wrong.

Schadenfreude on December 11, 2012 at 11:57 AM

rbj, that w/b Morsi and his muzzie brothers.

A once freest, and now stupidest, land deserves the Obamas in full.

The rest of the world laughs at YOU, the once glorious land.

It’s self-made, and thus fully deserved.

The rotw used to envy and respect/fear the US. Now they just laugh.

Schadenfreude on December 11, 2012 at 11:59 AM

The USA of today is a carnival of clowns.

Every day provides 1001 items of proof for it.

Schadenfreude on December 11, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Her receipt of the prestigious Walter Duranty Prize for her coverage of the Assad family is probably a key factor in the selection process.

jerryofva on December 11, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Who cares if she is not qualified and has the personality of an ogre? Big money bundlers need payback. Besides, she’ll be dressed to the nines while she’s doing all that Diplomatin’.

ghostwalker1 on December 11, 2012 at 12:20 PM

But this isn’t about Wintour in particular; this is about money. Wintour’s fundraising for President Obama’s reelection campaign is really the only reason we’re having this discussion. She has raised millions of dollars for the president’s reelection.

Golden rule: Those who have the gold make the rules.

Corollary: Those who make the rules get the gold.

Lather, rinse, repeat…

Marcola on December 11, 2012 at 12:21 PM

http://www.davegranlund.com/cartoons/wp-content/uploads/color-emanuel-mayor-web.jpg

Paul-Cincy on December 11, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Wrong finger.

Shy Guy on December 11, 2012 at 12:28 PM

The president has no shame. What post is he giving his other lavish fundraisers? Beyonce and Jay Z will get a post any day now.

scalleywag on December 11, 2012 at 12:39 PM

KS Rex on December 11, 2012 at 11:52 AM

she is actually one of them. she didnt move to the US till her mid to late 20′s. i’m wondering if she is an American citizen. you would think she has to be, but the way this administration does things maybe not. regardless she has no idea of the American experience. she is not steeped in our culture or beliefs. she has no chance to properly represent America.

chasdal on December 11, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Whenever I see her picture it makes me wonder if what they say about a donkey punch is true…?

Kuffar on December 11, 2012 at 1:08 PM

John Adams, James Monroe, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and …

…Joe Kennedy, Sr., bootlegger, Nazi sympathizer, adulterer and Democratic contributor.

bgoldman on December 11, 2012 at 1:29 PM

bgoldman on December 11, 2012 at 1:29 PM

I’m seeing a trend.

Cindy Munford on December 11, 2012 at 1:52 PM

I know that this is suppose to be light hearted fun but it really annoys the living stuffing out of me. Where was Mr. Tapper when Obama was handing out billions of taxpayer money to bundlers with sketchy businesses, who promptly went belly up but managed to enrich themselves in the process? I doubt France or the U.K. need much more than a professional party giver as an ambassador, hardly hot spots, and she probably qualifies for that. But the real problem for me is that Tapper will use this stupid concern as an example of holding Obama’s feet to the fire, and giving him a pass on the serious stuff.

Cindy Munford on December 11, 2012 at 11:38 AM

*applause*

This is just a shiny toy for all of us to be distracted by – we can’t focus on the lack of serious reporting in this country or the other malfeasance that goes on daily, so Tapper commits a random act of journalism once in a while to satisfy the proles and to keep the show going.

Add this to the very embarrassing crumb that the “comedians” like Maher and Stewart throw at us once in a while to shut us up. The once or twice a year they actually notice how corrupt the liberals are and we prostrate ourselves in front of them like a battered wife going back for more.

This is why we lose. Because we forget what Cindy said.

kim roy on December 11, 2012 at 2:01 PM

This is appointing your horse in 2012.

tom daschle concerned on December 11, 2012 at 2:02 PM

100 quatloos says Wintour will be appointed ambassador to the UK, as yet another calculated Obama insult to the Brits.

rayra on December 11, 2012 at 3:23 PM

I agree with what Cindy sausage and Kim Roy said.

SparkPlug on December 11, 2012 at 8:09 PM

Sausage said

SparkPlug on December 11, 2012 at 8:09 PM

If she really wants to be ambassador….How bout starting her “new career” in one of the North African countries?

nonstopca on December 12, 2012 at 11:49 AM