Whatever happened to those bundler-ambassadors?


TV producer Colleen Bell was nominated to be U.S. ambassador to Hungary. (Sean Smith/Bell Phillip Television Productions via Getty Images)

Loop Fans may recall the cringe-inducing performances of two Obama mega-bundler nominees for ambassadorships to Norway and Hungary at their Senate hearings back in January.

Long Island hotel executive George Tsunis, grilled by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), badly botched a question on anti-immigrant sentiment in Norway and also referred to Norway’s “president,” when, as a constitutional monarchy, that nation doesn’t have a president. (Note: Norway does have a 120-mile border with Russia.)

Hollywood TV soap opera producer (“The Bold and the Beautiful”)  Colleen Bell was flummoxed when McCain asked her what America’s strategic interests were in Hungary. (Note: Hungary borders Ukraine.)

At another hearing, a third bundler, Noah Mamet, nominated as ambassador to Argentina, acknowledged that he’d never been to Argentina and spoke only a little Spanish. He called Argentina a U.S. ally, leading McCain to conclude that Mamet was clueless about the South American country.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, however, approved both Bell and Tsunis, though the latter was on a 12-6 vote. Mamet is awaiting a committee vote.

We’re hearing that the administration is still standing firm on all three and expects that Mamet will be voted out of committee next week. Meanwhile, word is that Mamet has been studying Spanish. Good luck with that Argentine accent.

 

 

 

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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