‘The Bold and the Beautiful’ on location in Budapest

Colleen Bell at a Los Angeles Film Festival Nov. 2. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for LACMA) Colleen Bell at a Los Angeles Film Festival on Nov. 2. (Jason Merritt/Getty Images for LACMA)

Television producer Colleen Bell — best known for the Hollywood soap “The Bold and the Beautiful”  and an Obama mega-bundler —  has finally been nominated to be ambassador to Hungary.

We reported back in May that the move was coming “soon.” Okay, so it’s been five months, but these days that passes for warp speed for the Obama administration.

Bell, with no diplomatic experience, is headed to a country with somewhat rocky relations with Washington, thanks to the anti-democratic antics of Prime Minister Viktor Orban. His policies sparked a public rebuke from former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. Some observers in Hungary had hoped that, after a long string of inexperienced political donors, going back a couple decades, this time they might get a seasoned diplomat in Budapest.

Well, you never know.

President Obama, as expected, also tapped Under Secretary of the Army Joe Westphal, the Army’s second-highest ranking civilian,  to be ambassador to Saudi Arabia. Westphal is  a former political science professor and university chancellor and had been assistant secretary of the Army for civil works back in the Clinton administration.  Washington attorney Janice Schneider, a  former senior aide at the Interior Department in the Clinton administration, was picked to be assistant secretary for Lands and Minerals Management at Interior. Madelyn Creedon, assistant secretary of defense for Global Strategic Affairs and and previously a deputy administrator for defense programs at the Energy Department’s National Nuclear Security Administration, is headed back to be principal deputy administrator at the NNSA.

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.

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Al Kamen · November 7, 2013