Nothing new in selling of ambassadorial posts

February 23

To all those exercised about the Obama administration’s appointments of wealthy donors to ambassadorial posts [letters, Feb. 18 and Feb. 21], it might be useful to remember that this is nothing new. As a check on the righteous indignation, I refer you to the 1950 Broadway production of Irving Berlin’s “Call Me Madam,” which dealt with — and laughed at — this very issue. Sally Adams, a wealthy Georgetown socialite and “friend of Harry,” is appointed ambassador to the fictional country of Lichtenburg. After being sworn in to her post, Mrs. Adams says, “Where the heck is Lichtenburg?” A look at the 1953 film adaptation reminds us that the current outrage is perhaps a bit overwrought — or at least a little dated.

Patricia Carley, Rockville

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