The Senate Tuesday afternoon confirmed Obama mega-bundler Jane Hartley to be ambassador to Paris, filling a top post that had been vacant since last November. Hartley, a former Carter administration aide, is chief executive of the Observatory Group, an economic and political advisory firm in Manhattan.
She was nominated in June after the first-pick, New York financier (and, naturally, Obama mega-bundler) Marc Lasry, withdrew in April 2013 amid reports that he played poker in an alleged Russian-mob-run gambling ring that was laundering money through a Carlyle Hotel art gallery.
The well-connected Hartley travels in rarefied financial circles, as seen above in a New York economic meeting with David Koch.
Seven other nominees were confirmed Tuesday, including two for vacancies at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Jeffery Baran, who works for the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Stephen G. Burns, a longtime NRC attorney, were confirmed by largely party-line votes of 56-44 and 60-40, respectively.
The Senate, by voice vote, also confirmed three other ambassadors: Career Foreign Service officers Todd Robinson, as ambassador to Guatemala, and Matthew Harrington, to the Kingdom of Lesotho, as well as Nina Hachigian, an Asia foreign policy expert and former Clinton National Security Council aide, as representative to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
In addition, longtime Connecticut veterans commissioner Linda A. Schwartz was confirmed as assistant secretary of Veterans Affairs for policy and planning, and Gordon Tanner, Air Force deputy assistant secretary for manpower and reserve affairs, was made Air Force general counsel.