OK, I’m not overly inclined to be hypocritical about how the White House made a major campaign contributor Ambassador to Luxembourg. I said it before: that’s how this works. The prestige posts – and the Western European ambassadorships are automatically ‘prestige’ – are Presidential largess. Sure, it’s business as usual and the President said that he wasn’t going to be business as usual… but, seriously: everybody knew that he was lying, right? Nobody smart actually believed that nonsense?
What, that person over there is saying that he did believe that Obama was different?
But I digress.
Anyway, the State Department knows how to deal with the ‘problem’ of non-diplomats running key diplomatic embassies. It’s actually very straightforward: if the ambassador has a clue, let him or her help. If the ambassador is clueless, at least make sure that he or she knows not to start any wars and send him or her off to the cocktail party circuit, which is by now familiar enough with American diplomatic staffing protocol to likewise work around the “problem.” And everybody is happy, and nobody’s nose is out of joint, and so life goes on.
Which is why the saga of Cynthia Stroum is so fascinating. Stroum is the former ambassador to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, and the measure of her incompetence can be summed as follows: four of the permanent diplomatic staff – who undoubtedly fought like blazes inside State to get a diplomatic posting in Western Europe – volunteered for duty in Iraq and Afghanistan in order to get away from her. We know this because unnamed sources in the State Department unaccountably passed along a 2010 evaluation of Ms. Stroum that will probably make her slightly more politically radioactive than cobalt-60. We’re talking tantrums, threats, unauthorized spending, general nastiness: the words “prima donna” come to mind, as does the phrase “didn’t care to spend her own money*.” State probably cared more about the first than the second, but what the heck: everybody has their own reason for whacking at the pinata. The important point is that eventually the candy showers down, am I right?
Anyway, I blame Hollywood. I should probably blame somebody else who hasn’t been blamed for anything lately, just to be nice – but I can’t think of anybody off of the top of my head.
(H/t Hot Air Headlines)
*You know how Robin Williams says that cocaine is God’s way of telling you that you make too much [expletive deleted]ing money? Well, that rule applies to maxing out one’s annual donation to John Edwards’ Presidential campaign. Yes. She’s one of those people.