America’s ambassadors reflect the country? Yes, that fund-raising pays off


Obama-with-Money--53752America’s ambassadors reflect the place they come from. In the sense that the US takes initiative and fund-raising seriously and rewards it accordingly. This is the most charitable way to describe the fact that the US often sends, to far-flung outposts, people who are not trained diplomats, don’t seem to be necessarily diplomatic, have no culturally specialist knowledge about the country or region to which they’re assigned as envoy.

Quartz recently repeated some of the consternation over Ambassador  Colleen Bell in Budapest. It pointed out that Ms Bell is an Emmy award-winning producer (the soap The Bold and the Beautiful has won 40 Daytime Emmys) but though this is great it “hardly requires a particular knowledge of Central European culture, languages, or politics.”

But she raised money for President Obama’s re-election and has received her reward. (Check out Diplopundit’s blog  on Ms Bell’s appointment and Senator John McCain’s indignation. He used some choice language, describing her as a “totally unqualified individual” to be posted to a country that’s vital to America’s national security interests.)

But Ms Bell is number five on Quartz’s list of ambassadorial appointments and the money that each raised for the 2012 Obama re-election campaign. Herewith:

Denise Bauer, US ambassador to Belgium: $2,360,300

Matthew Barzun, US ambassador to the United Kingdom: $2,312,509

Colleen Bell, US ambassador to Hungary: $2,101,635

Rob Barber, US ambassador to Iceland: $1,687,219

John Emerson, US ambassador to Germany: $1,562,350

Suzi LeVine, US ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein:$1,515,493

Robert Sherman, US ambassador to Portugal: $1,386,770

Noah Mamet, US ambassador to Argentina: $1,374,003

Jane Hartley, US ambassador to France and Monaco: $1,353,200

Mark Gilbert, US ambassador to New Zealand: $1,232,988

James Costos, US ambassador to Spain and Andorra: $1,124,925

James Brewster, US ambassador to the Dominican Republic:$1,121,027

Kirk Wagar, US ambassador to Singapore: $1,117,000

Bruce Heyman, US ambassador to Canada: $1,012,800

Pam Hamamoto, US ambassador to UN headquarters in Geneva: $1,011,654

Go figure.