Is Our Ambassadors Competent?

I’ve learned not to make a big deal of the fact that nominees for ambassadorial positions are huge donors to the campaigns of the presidents who nominate them; the situation is less than ideal, but since the State Department doesn’t budget much for receptions at U.S. embassies around the world, ambassadors are actually expected to pay out of their own pockets for any entertainment that goes on at American diplomatic posts. As such, ambassadorial nominees are expected to have large bank accounts. It has practically become a job requirement.

So I am not surprised that George Tsunis–a rich donor to the Obama campaign–has been named as ambassador to Norway. I expect it.

But I certainly also expect him to have mastered his brief regarding the country he is supposed to live and work in. And alas, he just hasn’t. Isn’t there possibly another Mr./Ms. Moneybags who might serve as the face of the United States to the Norwegian people?

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