You know why and I know why and Josh Earnest knows why, but this is one of those precious moments in Washington when a fact that’s transparently plain must be ignored in the interest of politeness and pretensions to good government. Colleen Bell dumped a ton of money on candidate Obama; now President Obama’s dumping an ambassadorship to one of our allies in eastern Europe on her, notwithstanding the fact that eastern Europe is kind of important these days as a flashpoint with a newly expansionist Russia. Does America need a liaison to Hungary who can’t identify any American interests in Hungary, even when she’s had weeks to prepare an answer? Josh Earnest’s answer may surprise you!
I’m curious to see how lefties spin this fiasco, actually. There is a defense available to them if they want to make it: Namely, in a world of instant global communication, ambassadorships are a silly, antiquated institution. Ideally we’d get rid of all of them; failing that, there’s no harm in farming them out to moneybags as part of the Beltway spoils system that Hopenchange was supposed to shake up. If, as we’ve now come to learn, Obama chose his last secretary of defense because he wanted a figurehead at the Pentagon who’d rubber stamp whatever the White House decided, why not do the same thing with diplomatic positions? If Hungary runs into any trouble, they’re going to talk to John Kerry, not Colleen Bell. Exit question: Since all these rich donors really want from their ambassadorships is a prestigious title and someplace glamorous to live for a few years, why don’t we appoint 200 ambassadors to Monaco and bring everyone else home?