Obama’s ambassador picks, by the numbers

January 14, 2014

The U.S. Senate -- hampered by partisan gridlock -- is taking a very long time to confirm President Obama's ambassadorship nominations. Here's a look at them by the numbers, from the Fix and PostTV's Jeff Simon.

What does it take to get nominated to a plum ambassadorship? Well, it doesn't hurt to have played for the President's favorite baseball team. Oh, and money. (Jeff Simon/The Washington Post)
  • 32 ambassadorship nominations are pending before the Senate.
  • 18 of the nominees have professional qualifications as career foreign service members.
  • 14 others took different paths to qualify for the nomination.
  • $436,000 to Democratic causes -- that's from former White Sox outfielder Mark Gilbert, the nominee for the U.S. Embassy post in New Zealand.
  • 111th Supreme Court justice might have described Carlos Roberto Mereno if the nomination for that job hadn't gone to Sonia Sotomayor in 2009. A few years in Belize might soften any hard feelings he may have had about being passed over.
  • $291,000 in contributions to Democratic campaigns and committees -- that's from "The Bold and the Beautiful" executive producer Colleen Bell, who is up for the job of ambassador to Hungary.
  • 4 years is how long Trinidad and Tobago nominee John Estrada spent as highest-ranking enlisted member of the Marine Corps.
  • 36 years is how long Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) has been in the U.S. Senate. He's been nominated to be ambassador to China.
  • 123 days is the average time Gilbert, Estrada, Mereno and Bell have been waiting to be confirmed as U.S. ambassadors.

 Hat tip to the Sunlight Foundation, which organized the data used in the video. 

 

Natalie Jennings is a Web producer for PostTV.
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