- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Two homosexual U.S. ambassadors and their partners have settled into their posts in Australia and the Dominican Republic — both nations that ban gay marriages.

John Berry, who recruited gay supporters for President Obama last year, made his debut in a television interview on the Australian Broadcasting Corp., where he displayed his diplomatic talent by declining to discuss Australia’s laws on same-sex marriage.

“I believe gay marriage is a sensitive topic, and it’s one that Australians need to decide for Australia,” he said.

Mr. Berry married his partner of 17 years, Curtis Yee, in August, shortly after the Senate confirmed his nomination.

In the Dominican Republic, Ambassador James “Wally” Brewster and Bob Satawake announced their arrival in the Caribbean nation on a video posted on the U.S. Embassy’s website.

“Hi,” the diplomat said, “My name is Wally Brewster.”

AMBASSADOR TO IRELAND?

The Irish finally have the name of a possible candidate to fill the long-vacant post of U.S. ambassador in Dublin.

Irish reporters are hearing that Tom Carnahan, scion of an Irish-American Democratic family from Missouri, is the likely choice to succeed Daniel M. Rooney, who stepped down 11 months ago. Mr. Carnahan, another major fundraiser for President Obama, got more than $1 million in U.S. tax credits for his wind-farm business.

Irish-Americans have been complaining that Mr. Obama is disrespecting Ireland by leaving the vacancy unfilled for the longest time since 1927.

RUSSIAN CORRECTION

Russia’s Interfax news agency caught the embarrassing mistake in an interview with U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul.

Mr. McFaul was talking about the 80th anniversary of the restoration of diplomatic relations between Washington and Moscow when he referred to an inspirational statue of America’s first ambassador to Russia outside the U.S. Embassy.

“I am reminded of this incredible history every day as a statue of John Quincy Adams, our first ambassador to Russia (who later became our fifth president [sic!]), stands just outside of the entry to our embassy,” Mr. McFaul said of U.S.-Russian relations.

Adams was America’s sixth president. James Monroe was No. 5.

Interfax added “sic” — that revealing Latin adverb (literally “thus”) that indicates a sharp-eyed editor caught a mistake in a quote the speaker failed to notice.

The English version of the interview, published Nov. 16, included the parentheses, and another quote in the article from Mr. McFaul includes an exclamation mark — which leaves the impression that the ambassador’s comments were written responses to questions.

Even the reason for the interview — the 80th anniversary of the restoration of diplomatic ties — is a bit confusing.

The United States established relations with imperial Russia in 1807, but political squabbling in Washington held up an appointment of the first U.S. ambassador to Moscow. Adams presented his diplomatic credentials toCzar Alexander I in St. Petersburg, then the imperial capital, on Nov. 5, 1809.

More than 100 years later, Washington withdrew Ambassador David Francis after the communist revolution of 1917.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt established relations with the Soviet Union in 1933. After the communist regime collapsed in 1991, the U.S. recognized the Russian Federation as the successor state.

The United States and Russia celebrated the 200th anniversary of relations in 2007 and the 80th anniversary of the restoration of ties last week.

Embassy Row is published on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. James Morrison can be reached at jmorrison@washingtontimes.com or @EmbassyRow.

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