Vacuum in the State Department

← return to Water Cooler

Interesting to note that about half of America’s ambassadors overseas are “political appointees” — essentially generous friends of the White House who have financed many a campaign, says one veteran of that realm.

“These political appointees range from mildly competent to complete idiots, with a heavy lean toward the latter,” points out Peter Van Buren, a former 24-year Foreign Service officer at the State Department.

“And that allows me to introduce America to its ambassador to Finland, Bruce Oreck. He has earned his lifetime title of ambassador and job by being the son of famed vacuum cleaner manufacturer David Oreck, and by being a major Obama bundler and Democratic contributor before getting the appointment to Helsinki,” Mr. Van Buren says.

“In addition to his private legal practice, ambassador Oreck served as general counsel and executive vice president for his privately held family business, the Oreck Corporation. Oreck’s most important contribution to diplomacy was to bundle more than $500,000 in donations for the 2008 election,” he adds.

Mr. Van Buren is annoyed by such things as the ambassador’s holiday greeting card, his upcoming book and “the mansion Oreck gets to live in,” paid for in tax dollars, of course.

“But there is good news about political ambassadors to come. Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of U.S. Vogue, was announced as a possible candidate for the post of U.S. ambassador to the UK or France,” Mr. Van Buren says.

“Wintour co-hosted a $40,000 a head event in June at actress Sarah Jessica Parker’s home, and in August hosted a Connecticut dinner that cost $35,800 per person at movie mogul Harvey Weinstein’s house. By the end of the campaign she was one of Obama’s top ten fundraisers.”

The former foreign service officer says his piece here:

← return to Water Cooler

blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like
  • Maureen McDonnell looks on as her husband, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, made a statement on Tuesday after the couple was indicted on corruption charges. (associated press)

    PRUDEN: Where have the big-time grifters gone?

  • This photo taken Jan. 9, 2014,  shows New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gesturing as he answers a question during a news conference  at the Statehouse in Trenton.  Christie will propose extending the public school calendar and lengthening the school day in a speech he hopes will help him rebound from an apparent political payback scheme orchestrated by key aides. The early front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination will make a case Tuesday Jan. 14, 2014, that children who spend more time in school graduate better prepared academically, according to excerpts of his State of the State address obtained by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    BRUCE: Bombastic arrogance or humble determination? Chris Christie’s choice

  • ** FILE ** Secretary of State Hillary Rodham testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Chris Stevens and three other Americans. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

    PRUDEN: The question to haunt the West

  • Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

    LAMBRO: Skirting the lane-closure issue

  • Illustration by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

    LYONS: Benghazi demands a select committee in Congress

  • Happening Now