Obama nominates another top Democratic bundler for French ambassadorship

posted at 5:31 pm on June 7, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

Presidents nominating friends and campaign contributors to glamorous, plum ambassadorships is a tale as old as time, and it isn’t necessarily the worst system in the world for picking some of your top envoys. President Obama, however, has made especial, impersonal, and unfettered enough use of the practice to attract a heap of negative attention, and he just nominated another major Democratic bundler to one of the juiciest ambassadorships of all. Via the NYT:

President Obama on Friday nominated Jane D. Hartley, the chief executive officer of an economic consulting firm, to be ambassador to France, once more propelling a campaign fund-raiser into a prominent diplomatic position.

Ms. Hartley got her start working for the Democratic National Committee and later served in the White House office of public liaison under President Jimmy Carter. She has worked as an executive at several media companies. Since 2007, she has served as the chief executive officer of the Observatory Group, an economic and political consulting advisory firm with offices in Tokyo, Spain, Washington and New York.

The Center for Responsive Politics listed her as a “bundler” who raised more than $519,000 for Mr. Obama’s re-election effort. Her husband, Ralph L. Schlosstein, is a longtime donor to the Democratic Party.

Let us hope that the White House bothered to do some due diligence this time and that this gal is actually up to the task — France did just sell a warship to Russia despite our protestations, you know — and doesn’t faceplant like the major donor Obama nominated for the ambassadorship to Norway (remember this embarrassing little episode last January?). Speaking of, last week the two Democratic senators from Minnesota (a state with a lot of Norwegian-American heritage) iterated their disapproval of that pick, but the State Department still isn’t budging. Via WaPo:

Two key Senate Democrats have informed the Obama administration that they will oppose the nomination of  Chartwell Hotels founder George Tsunis – who bundled or contributed more than $1.3 million for President Obama in 2012 – to be ambassador to Norway.

We’re told Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)  told the White House back in February that she intended to oppose the nomination. In a statement Wednesday, she citing his performance at a confirmation hearing and concerns from constituents.  This week, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry noted his constituent’s concerns — Minnesota has the country’s largest Norwegian American population — that Tsunis would not be able “to serve effectively.” …

But the State Department is not backing away. “We still support and will continue to work with the Senate, a senior official there told The Loop, to resolve any outstanding questions and get George confirmed as soon as possible.”


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Oui oui’d up.

rogerb on June 7, 2014 at 5:34 PM

We ARE the ones we’ve been waiting for!

Oh yeah…

Kraken on June 7, 2014 at 5:36 PM

Well, he’s already ticked them off by acting like an ass at Le Debarquement.

Why not go whole hog?

(or is that racist and Islamophobic?)

formwiz on June 7, 2014 at 5:42 PM

Something tells me she’ll fit right in .

Lucano on June 7, 2014 at 5:44 PM

Bien sûr! Faire de l’argent n’est pas la politique!

ExpressoBold on June 7, 2014 at 5:47 PM

Bien sûr! Faire de l’argent n’est pas la politique!

ExpressoBold on June 7, 2014 at 5:47 PM

Mai’s oui !

Lucano on June 7, 2014 at 5:55 PM

Quelle honte.

22044 on June 7, 2014 at 5:59 PM

It’s his government, he can do what he wants.

MT on June 7, 2014 at 6:25 PM

Its my party and I’ll lie if I want to….

BobMbx on June 7, 2014 at 6:39 PM

Has she ever heard of France or located it on a map?

Philly on June 7, 2014 at 6:47 PM

Obama doesn’t much like people but he loves money.

VorDaj on June 7, 2014 at 6:48 PM

Has she ever heard of France or located it on a map?

Philly on June 7, 2014 at 6:47 PM

She probably doesn’t even know what a cravat is.

VorDaj on June 7, 2014 at 6:50 PM

Man with no practical skills for an essential job picks representative with no practical skills for an essential job.

He should have picked Kerry, at least he knows the language.

Socratease on June 7, 2014 at 6:52 PM

I think I need glasses.

I misread the headline as “Top Democratic Bumbler,” and said to myself,

Self, isn’t Obama still the Top Democratic Bumbler?

Then I re-read it. My bad.

Adjoran on June 7, 2014 at 6:54 PM

Funny how Minnesota Democrats can get upset over a campaign donor getting an ambassadorship but have no problem with electing Stuart Smalley as their Senator

john1schn on June 7, 2014 at 6:55 PM

But hey, at least she speaks Austrian, amiright?

ShainS on June 7, 2014 at 6:55 PM

Merde!

1921 C DRUM on June 7, 2014 at 6:57 PM

Can’t wait ’til she places a wreath on the tomb of the last Frenchie to drop his weapon in WWII.

vnvet on June 7, 2014 at 7:03 PM

Well, he’s already ticked them off by acting like an ass at Le Debarquement.

Why not go whole hog? horse.
(or is that racist and Islamophobic?)

formwiz on June 7, 2014 at 5:42 PM

It is France after all.

RickB on June 7, 2014 at 7:05 PM

Has she ever heard of France or located it on a map?

Philly on June 7, 2014 at 6:47 PM

“Paris? That’s in Texas, right?”

Bitter Clinger on June 7, 2014 at 7:06 PM

Ou est la W.C?

WryTrvllr on June 7, 2014 at 7:08 PM

…I think it is appropriate…to have a slut for the French to parlez-vous with!

KOOLAID2 on June 7, 2014 at 7:36 PM

How about making her the Libyan ambassador instead?

BDavis on June 7, 2014 at 8:00 PM

It’s hard for me to get worked-up over Hartley getting the ambassadorship to France when she’s vastly more qualified to be president than her boss (her politics aside).

B4B on June 7, 2014 at 8:10 PM

Can she speak French?

Another Drew on June 7, 2014 at 8:22 PM

Anna Wintour wasn’t available?

Moron Labe on June 7, 2014 at 10:07 PM

” But I was told I could Ride the Pony”

-O’Bozo

WryTrvllr on June 7, 2014 at 10:30 PM

They must really be jack wagons if klobuchar and franken can’t get behind them.

crosshugger on June 7, 2014 at 10:46 PM

Does she hafta pay that 75 percent tax to get the job? She already paid off our Normandy gum-chewing obumbler.

Sherman1864 on June 8, 2014 at 1:14 AM

Has she ever heard of France or located it on a map?
Philly on June 7, 2014 at 6:47 PM
“Paris? That’s in Texas, right?”
Bitter Clinger on June 7, 2014 at 7:06 PM

Nope. I heard it’s some island somewhere.

Navy or something.

Sherman1864 on June 8, 2014 at 1:17 AM