The Washington Times - December 26, 2012, 02:36PM

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: