Video: State Department doesn’t know offhand if Obama’s nominee for ambassador to Argentina … speaks Spanish

posted at 6:01 pm on February 7, 2014 by Allahpundit

A mandatory addendum to Mary Katharine’s post last night. Rewarding rich hacks with ambassadorships is not, as MKH noted, a problem unique to Democrats, but it was a problem that the Unicorn Prince vowed to solve back when he was in slow-the-rise-of-the-oceans mode. How’s it going so far? Take five minutes for this righteously pissy critique from James Bruno and you’ll see. Why we bother with confirmation hearings for ambassadorships anymore, I don’t know. If we’re going to embrace late-stage imperial decadence as nakedly as this, let’s go the rest of the way and literally auction off diplomatic posts for fatcat morons who bankroll the party that’s currently holding the White House. Do a whole auction board and everything. The bidding for the Paris slot starts at $5 million, Rome $4 million, and on down the line. Given the fragility of regional relations there, Middle Eastern and Far Eastern posts would be reserved for people who actually know what they’re talking about, not rich benefactors. Wait, no they wouldn’t.

As Bruno notes, the Senate tends to rubber-stamp hack diplomatic appointees no matter which party controls the chamber because both Democrats and Republicans benefit from this patronage system. If/when the GOP is back in control next year thanks in part to anti-crony tea partiers, that practice should change. We’ll see how much grassroots pressure there is on them to reject unqualified nominees come 2015.


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No prob. Prolly fluent in Austrian.

Lanceman on February 7, 2014 at 6:03 PM

What a joke the Obama administration is.

bluegill on February 7, 2014 at 6:04 PM

No prob. Prolly fluent in Austrian.

Lanceman on February 7, 2014 at 6:03 PM

i was going to say Argentinian. That’s a thing, right?

Fenris on February 7, 2014 at 6:04 PM

Lulz, you dumb tea party rubes, why would he need to speak Spanish? Obviously they speak Argentinian. Smart Power.

Good Solid B-Plus on February 7, 2014 at 6:05 PM

As long as he speaks maldivian he should be fine.

HumpBot Salvation on February 7, 2014 at 6:06 PM

I’m guessing he’s fluent is Pig Latin considering all the lipstick they’re gonna have to put on him.

Bitter Clinger on February 7, 2014 at 6:08 PM

No prob. Prolly fluent in Austrian.

Lanceman on February 7, 2014 at 6:03 PM

i was going to say Argentinian. That’s a thing, right?

Fenris on February 7, 2014 at 6:04 PM</blockquote

Good stuff.

—-

What he spoke was the 'monetarian'.

CWchangedhisNicagain on February 7, 2014 at 6:08 PM

by coincidence we do not know if Argentina speaks English ;)

OregonPolitician on February 7, 2014 at 6:09 PM

I’m guessing he’s fluent is Pig Latin considering all the lipstick they’re gonna have to put on him.

Bitter Clinger on February 7, 2014 at 6:08 PM

BWAHAHAHAHA!!!! Shut it down! We have a wiener!

Lanceman on February 7, 2014 at 6:10 PM

Be patient you guys it will take at least three terms to repair the damage Bush did to our reputation on the world stage.

Kataklysmic on February 7, 2014 at 6:10 PM

Don’t cry for me, Argentina?

No, nevermind. Go ahead and cry. The current state of the U.S. is worthy of mourning.

yaedon on February 7, 2014 at 6:10 PM

I’m the State department has Rosetta Stone programs available for their Ambassadors.

RickB on February 7, 2014 at 6:11 PM

Does he do Uh, Uh, y’know as well as Sweet Caroline…

OmahaConservative on February 7, 2014 at 6:11 PM

Wait a sec, is this a requirement that you actually know how to speak the native tongue?

I mean, look, when you send people to China or Mongolia, you actually expect them to speak the native tongue?

Wow… that explains a lot about our foreign policy the last few decades: its gone native.

ajacksonian on February 7, 2014 at 6:12 PM

I read that he loves the musical Evita… So he has that going for him.

oceansidecon on February 7, 2014 at 6:12 PM

Look on the bright side! This will probably limit the damage he can do to our relationship with Argentina. Probably.

yaedon on February 7, 2014 at 6:15 PM

Just wait until we invent a universal translator so that others will know EXACTLY what we are saying about them with the right intonations in their native language. We will have the most splendid wars then!

ajacksonian on February 7, 2014 at 6:16 PM

Immigrants shouldn’t be encouraged to speak English, but Argentinians in their own country had darn well better.

besser tot als rot on February 7, 2014 at 6:19 PM

Ambassadorships have always been political plums. Of all the things What-Ever-His-Name-Really-Is’s administration has done, getting spun up about this is stupid.

The professional State Department employees run things, the “Ambassadors” attend cocktail parties, look important and try to get rich on business deals.

(And there are two classes of “Ambassador”: State Department employees, and figureheads. It’s nice if the appointed ones are somewhat competent, but that’s not the rule.)

CrazyGene on February 7, 2014 at 6:19 PM

Wait a sec, is this a requirement that you actually know how to speak the native tongue?

I mean, look, when you send people to China or Mongolia, you actually expect them to speak the native tongue?

Wow… that explains a lot about our foreign policy the last few decades: its gone native.

ajacksonian on February 7, 2014 at 6:12 PM

that ability carried Bif von HandenHuntsman deep into the primary in 2012 didn’t it

DanMan on February 7, 2014 at 6:19 PM

Bass adore scandals? It’s the bottom of the barrel for conservative propaganda.

libfreeordie on February 7, 2014 at 6:20 PM

Autocorrect is cruel.

libfreeordie on February 7, 2014 at 6:20 PM

Wait a sec, is this a requirement that you actually know how to speak the native tongue?

I mean, look, when you send people to China or Mongolia, you actually expect them to speak the native tongue?

ajacksonian on February 7, 2014 at 6:12 PM

Yeah, I actually agree with this, but it got in the way of a good sound bite* :)

*Well, IMO – y’all probably thought it sucked.

besser tot als rot on February 7, 2014 at 6:20 PM

Bass adore scandals? It’s the bottom of the barrel for conservative propaganda.

libfreeordie on February 7, 2014 at 6:20 PM

Are you OK?

Lanceman on February 7, 2014 at 6:21 PM

CrazyGene on February 7, 2014 at 6:19 PM

Yeah, but 0bama specifically promised he’d stop this practice…

OmahaConservative on February 7, 2014 at 6:22 PM

Autocorrect is cruel.

libfreeordie on February 7, 2014 at 6:20 PM

Scared me. I thought you might be having a stroke. You ain’t one for spelling that terribly.

Lanceman on February 7, 2014 at 6:22 PM

Squirrel!

Ufdaubet on February 7, 2014 at 6:23 PM

Immigrants shouldn’t be encouraged to speak English, but Argentinians in their own country had darn well better.

I worked at an Italian joint when I was a kid. The owners were three brothers out of Sicily via NYC and very difficult to understand. They hired a few Argentinians that were even harder to understand but between the Italians and Argentinians they were perfectly fluent.

I eventually learned to understand them all. I just assumed they spoke Italian in Argentina.

DanMan on February 7, 2014 at 6:24 PM

Deviant says what?

CWchangedhisNicagain on February 7, 2014 at 6:24 PM

Everybody understands English if speak very slowly and yell.

Clearly that’s the plan here.

Happy Nomad on February 7, 2014 at 6:25 PM

1. Name the four principal agricultural products of Argentina.

2. Describe the legislative branch of the Argentine government. Is it unicameral or bicameral?

3. What is Mercosur, and how does it relate to Argentina?

4. Within one peso, what’s the exchange rate right now between the U.S. dollar and the Argentinian peso?

I really don’t think he’d make it past those four questions.

DarthBrooks on February 7, 2014 at 6:26 PM

No, the democrats aren’t the only ones who flagrantly appoint chums and cuddle uppers and big donors to ritzy posts like this, but if you voted for the Unicorn Prince who vowed to solve this back when he was in slow-the-rise-of-the-oceans mode

you must be sorely disappointed. Are there any of his claims that he’s made good on as far? Transparency? Closing the revolving door between lobbyists and the WH? He did ram through a health care bill and end the war in Iraq and we all know how that’s working out.

scalleywag on February 7, 2014 at 6:27 PM

well Happy, at the restaurant I recall a lot of arm waving was involved as well.

DanMan on February 7, 2014 at 6:27 PM

Being appointed as a U.S. Ambassador generated respect in the past.

The Obama Administration just fundamentally transformed that positive perception of U.S. Ambassadors into something that generates eye rolls and snickers.

wren on February 7, 2014 at 6:27 PM

oops, my quote block got all messed up hahah

scalleywag on February 7, 2014 at 6:28 PM

Probably speaks Esperanto
Reviving it as the “world language” fits in perfectly with his lame a$$ world view.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on February 7, 2014 at 6:28 PM

SOP.

This administration doesn’t seem to know much of anything – except how to colossally eff something up.

locomotivebreath1901 on February 7, 2014 at 6:28 PM

CrazyGene on February 7, 2014 at 6:19 PM

Don’t be a wet blanket. If liberals can set their hair on fire over the libido thing, then we can have a little fun over this.

yaedon on February 7, 2014 at 6:29 PM

I did not know Ted Bundy was a diplomat.

Sherman1864 on February 7, 2014 at 6:29 PM

Probably learned all he knows from watching Telemundo.

battalion on February 7, 2014 at 6:31 PM

As long as he speaks Yankee Dollars, he’ll be fine. They will listen intently, nod occasionally, and keep an eye on their bank balance, all while having no flocking idea what the Ambassador is saying.

If it’s dinner, he can merely point to the gravy, salt, pepper or whatever it is he needs. No problem.

Dumb-plomacy. Gotta love it.

IndieDogg on February 7, 2014 at 6:31 PM

If he can say “F¥ck Argentina!” then no problemo getting approved.

Brat on February 7, 2014 at 6:31 PM

Ref the vid, you mean we won’t know whut’s in this turd ’til we ‘pass him’? How’s that concept workin’ out for us? I’ll bet he knows whut ‘dolores’ means. Being he’s guaranteed a first class passage to the Argentine, maybe he can get by with his high school German.

vnvet on February 7, 2014 at 6:33 PM

http://twitchy.com/2014/02/07/seriously-some-shameful-sht-chris-hayes-slams-obamas-potential-ambassador-to-argentina/

Ooops Chris Hayes spreading right wing propaganda.

CWchangedhisNicagain on February 7, 2014 at 6:34 PM

Ambassadorships have always been political plums. Of all the things What-Ever-His-Name-Really-Is’s administration has done, getting spun up about this is stupid.

CrazyGene on February 7, 2014 at 6:19 PM

You’re absolutely wrong. Yes, ambassadorships to places like the UK or France have been political plums. But even when handed out there has been some rational reasoning behind it. The Ambassador to Ireland as somebody with strong ties to Ireland, for example.

But when you have nominees calling part of the Norwegian coalition government as a fringe group then you’ve gone well beyond the nonsense you posted. And it’s not like these are new isolated things, remember the ambassador who so demoralized the Luxembourg delegation? The ambassador to the Bahamas took 270 personal days in a year and a half? The ambassador to Belgium was buying prostitutes in the park in front of his house.

Yeah critics are really just over-hyping something that goes on all the time with ambassadorships.

Happy Nomad on February 7, 2014 at 6:36 PM

Come on, the guy, who’s never been to Argentina, speaks Austrian.

Schadenfreude on February 7, 2014 at 6:38 PM

Probably learned all he knows from watching Telemundo.

battalion on February 7, 2014 at 6:31 PM

Claro!

But won’t he be disappointed when he sees what most smoking hot Latina’s turn into (hint, look at their madre)

Happy Nomad on February 7, 2014 at 6:38 PM

Maybe he speaks Argentinian … … or Austrian.

VorDaj on February 7, 2014 at 6:38 PM

He knows as much about Argentina as Carolyn Kennedy knows about Japan.

Lee Jan on February 7, 2014 at 6:38 PM

Mutual back scratching has always been and will always be a universal language.

Optics Obamified! Excelsior!

RushBaby on February 7, 2014 at 6:39 PM

I’ll have to remember her reply for my next job interview -

“Well … um, like, I’m not 100% certain I speak the language necessary for this job, but I’ll totally tell you that you can’t judge whether I’m the man for the job me till I’ve been on the job for awhile.”

Esta gente, ¿qué está pensando?

JoseQuinones on February 7, 2014 at 6:44 PM

One additional thought-

There is a language to diplomacy. All the professional foreign service officers can speak it. The political appointees not so much when your only frame of reference about Argentina is that they sorta eat the stuff you can find at Taco Bell.

Happy Nomad on February 7, 2014 at 6:44 PM

Maybe he speaks Argentinian … … or Austrian.

VorDaj on February 7, 2014 at 6:38 PM

Given the number of Nazis that ended up there, that might just help.

Happy Nomad on February 7, 2014 at 6:46 PM

No sweat.

He swears he knows how to order Tequila…

viking01 on February 7, 2014 at 6:46 PM

Happy Nomad on February 7, 2014 at 6:38 PM

Si. Muy gordo y gris.

battalion on February 7, 2014 at 6:48 PM

He probably speaks Portuguese. Zippy can just swap him with the Ambassador of Brazil.

bw222 on February 7, 2014 at 6:49 PM

Happy Nomad on February 7, 2014 at 6:38 PM

OK, now it’s working. What a noob move…

battalion on February 7, 2014 at 6:55 PM

Ambassadors are usually chosen because they have some sort of ties to and knowledge of the country. That doesn’t mean they don’t treat it as a long term vacation and leave the real work to career bureaucrats. Attending and holding parties is part of the job. It’s called networking.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun with it.

crankyoldlady on February 7, 2014 at 7:02 PM

State Department doesn’t know offhand if Obama’s nominee for ambassador to Argentina … speaks Spanish

Idiotas

Vero Beach Florida on February 7, 2014 at 7:08 PM

Bass adore scandals? It’s the bottom of the barrel for conservative propaganda.

libfreeordie on February 7, 2014 at 6:20 PM

Autocorrect is cruel.

libfreeordie on February 7, 2014 at 6:20 PM

It could have been worse, but I see a potential new catch phrase.

I would agree with your main point. While pathetic, this is hard to get too excited about.

talkingpoints on February 7, 2014 at 7:11 PM

Bass adore scandals?
libfreeordie on February 7, 2014 at 6:20 PM

BTW, How do bass feel about Sarah Palin and Wendy Davis? Obamacare? CAGW?

talkingpoints on February 7, 2014 at 7:17 PM

While pathetic, this is hard to get too excited about.

talkingpoints on February 7, 2014 at 7:11 PM

Just adds to the ever-growing crisis of confidence in government.

Happy Nomad on February 7, 2014 at 7:17 PM

While pathetic, this is hard to get too excited about.

talkingpoints on February 7, 2014 at 7:11 PM

Yep just keep ignoring this crap….how’s that worked out so far?

CWchangedhisNicagain on February 7, 2014 at 7:28 PM

The most transparently corrupt administration ever!

Promise kept! (well not exactly)

s1im on February 7, 2014 at 7:29 PM

I propose a single 6 year term for president. Who’s with me…?

bigjack on February 7, 2014 at 7:29 PM

How much longer must I suffer you racist pigs? The United States doesn’t even have an official language. Spanish, FTW! /sar

brentspolemics on February 7, 2014 at 7:42 PM

New vetting question: “Can you find the country on a map?”

flataffect on February 7, 2014 at 7:44 PM

If you think you need to manage your nation’s decline, first make sure you’re not just unconsciously rooting for the decline and voting for a dude who’ll precipitate it. National Success 101

brentspolemics on February 7, 2014 at 7:45 PM

Wait a sec, is this a requirement that you actually know how to speak the native tongue?

I mean, look, when you send people to China or Mongolia, you actually expect them to speak the native tongue?

Wow… that explains a lot about our foreign policy the last few decades: its gone native.

ajacksonian on February 7, 2014 at 6:12 PM

Let’s face it, it shouldn’t be that difficult to find someone who can speak Spanish to be our ambassador to a major Spanish-speaking country. It’s not exactly a rare language in the United States.

J.S.K. on February 7, 2014 at 7:46 PM

Oh, what difference, at this point, does it make eh? Really…

Scrumpy on February 7, 2014 at 7:52 PM

DanMan on February 7, 2014 at 6:19 PM

He was the only Manchurian Candidate that had visited Manchuria, I’ll give him that.

besser tot als rot on February 7, 2014 at 6:20 PM

I just care about the guy being able to speak English. I’ve had my doubts about some of these Ambassadors being able to speak only in Ambassadorese.

J.S.K. on February 7, 2014 at 7:46 PM

True, but why make it a job requirement? Is the guy going out to pick up hookers on his own or going to send someone to get them for him?

ajacksonian on February 7, 2014 at 8:19 PM

Let’s rephrase that woman’s quote a little to align it with another liberal quote: “We don’t know if he speaks Spanish or if he is qualified, but we need to make him ambassador to find out.”

Obozocare anyone?

Wilmsch on February 7, 2014 at 8:21 PM

We should be happy that the Ambassador does not speak Spanish as his only language.

OregonPolitician on February 7, 2014 at 8:41 PM

It’s about how much they donate and how big the favors they do are, not really about qualifications to actually do the job…

easyt65 on February 7, 2014 at 8:47 PM

WTF… with all the illegals Barry wants to keep here, surely he can find one to be ambassador to Argentina.

roflmmfao

donabernathy on February 7, 2014 at 9:31 PM

Bass adore scandals? It’s the bottom of the barrel for conservative propaganda.

libfreeordie on February 7, 2014 at 6:20 PM

Autocorrect is cruel.

libfreeordie on February 7, 2014 at 6:20 PM

…Lanceman got confused for a minute…and thought libfreeorgan was the harvard grad noforeskin !

KOOLAID2 on February 7, 2014 at 10:08 PM

Bass adore scandals? It’s the bottom of the barrel for conservative propaganda.

libfreeordie on February 7, 2014 at 6:20 PM

Your allegations are bassless.

Probably without perch either.

itsspideyman on February 7, 2014 at 10:15 PM

If he had 2 yrs of High School Spanish 50 yrs ago like me he would be all set!! Honestly 2 years of knitting instruction would have been more useful. I don’t know why we require 2 yr of language in HS for college prep for STEM majors. It was a waste for me in HS and a waste for my BS in college. Luckily none of my kids had to take a language (They even have language equivalents in English — more bulls— courses.)

KenInIL on February 7, 2014 at 10:27 PM

Maybe he speaks Argentinian … … or Austrian.
VorDaj on February 7, 2014 at 6:38 PM

Given the number of Nazis that ended up there, that might just help.
Happy Nomad on February 7, 2014 at 6:46 PM

Had an old friend from Argentina. Very German background. Spoke both German and Spanish (with a German accent!)………..and to answer your next question…….”I never asked….”

JGinGJ on February 8, 2014 at 1:11 AM

Well we are sending one to China that doesn’t know anything about it, one to Japan that assails the cultural traditions so why not one to Argentina that can’t speak Spanish? You would think they would send one that could communicate to get tips on nationalizing the private retirement accounts.

giscwo on February 8, 2014 at 6:58 AM

Bass adore scandals? It’s the bottom of the barrel for conservative propaganda.

libfreeordie on February 7, 2014 at 6:20 PM

I remember when the progressive left used to denounce as the “Ugly Americans” ambassadors who could not even speak the natives language. Now I guess it does not matter. How would you feel about countries sending diplomats to the US who could not speak English?

KW64 on February 8, 2014 at 10:19 AM

According to Wikipedia….. In order, Spanish, English, Portuguese, and others.

ultracon on February 8, 2014 at 11:29 AM

It doesn’t make sense to me to say an ambassador should be required to speak the local language. Sure, there are probably enough qualified people who speak Spanish. But are we really going to require a fluent speaker of the local language for every ambassadorship? My guess is that, throughout American history, this has really been the exception, rather than the rule. An embassy can have lots of expert translators on staff to help out whatever top level diplomat is the ambassador at the time. (I’m not saying ambassadors should be rich donors. I think they should be qualified people with relevant experience. But that doesn’t mean they have to speak the local language, because that isn’t always going to be practical.)

acasilaco on February 8, 2014 at 2:04 PM

but it was a problem that the Unicorn Prince vowed to solve back when he was in slow-the-rise-of-the-oceans mode.

Okay, I laughed and laughed and am still laughing.

Cindy Munford on February 8, 2014 at 3:42 PM

Luckily, Argentinian affairs are not really important – it’s probably a good thing to have another Democrat leech out of the country for a while. Look on the bright side.

virgo on February 8, 2014 at 5:31 PM

The ‘commie babe President of Argentina‘ speaks all kinds of languages, including english.

No problem.

listens2glenn on February 10, 2014 at 1:41 AM