Comments on: The Muppets take Paris http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/08/17/the-muppets-take-paris/ A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: Bulging Bracket http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/08/17/the-muppets-take-paris/comment-page-1/#comment-5637 Tue, 18 Aug 2009 20:38:27 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/08/17/the-muppets-take-paris/#comment-5637 While there are some rather comical appointments, diplomacy just isn’t as big a deal as it used to be. Foreign ministers can call up (or fly to) Foggy Bottom/White House when they need to, instead of calling the ambassador.

Ambassadors liaise with the establishment of the country – something that a very rich political appointee can do much easier than an ill paid career FSO. Thomas Schieffer was ambassador to Australia and then Japan and won raves for his handling of both postings. He’s running in the Dem primary for Governor of Texas, was part of W’s Rangers investor group (and President of the Rangers), and ran a number of firms after a decent legal career. An Ambassador of that level can entertain, open doors, and make connections far better than an FSO.

FSOs are generally alienated from America and especially its politics (not as badly as their children, but substantially). It’s just the nature of the work – living abroad for years makes it far harder to keep up with how American life is lived and the key politics. They are thus not the right people to be the most senior representatives – they will struggle to understand and convey the needs and desires of the American people and of the President. They’re also of questionable loyalty, as their ultimate prosperity relies so heavily on the contacts that they have made in their years abroad. US ambassadors to Saudi Arabia are the most notorious for post career rewards, but it applies broadly to all career FSOs. Again its the nature of their careers rather than a personal aspersion and is something that simply needs to be managed – FSO’s interests simply are not aligned with the job of Ambassador to many countries.

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By: Jean http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/08/17/the-muppets-take-paris/comment-page-1/#comment-5618 Tue, 18 Aug 2009 17:46:39 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/08/17/the-muppets-take-paris/#comment-5618 One reason Paris could be a special case is that the residence is an incredibly posh “hotel particulier” down the Champs Elysees. The perfect treat for an major fund raiser.

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By: drewbie http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/08/17/the-muppets-take-paris/comment-page-1/#comment-5613 Tue, 18 Aug 2009 16:34:10 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/08/17/the-muppets-take-paris/#comment-5613 Spencer, I think the number by other adminstrations are irrelavant. The quote from Obama at the start of the article is definate: career diplomats whenever possible. No comparison to previous presidents will erase most of his nominations being politically motivated.

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By: Sean Broom http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/08/17/the-muppets-take-paris/comment-page-1/#comment-5608 Tue, 18 Aug 2009 15:22:28 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/08/17/the-muppets-take-paris/#comment-5608 How many total ambassadorships are there?

Sean

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By: spencer http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/08/17/the-muppets-take-paris/comment-page-1/#comment-5597 Tue, 18 Aug 2009 03:25:47 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/08/17/the-muppets-take-paris/#comment-5597 How about some comparisons with other administrations.

Without this your numbers are useless.

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By: Henri Tournyol du Clos http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/08/17/the-muppets-take-paris/comment-page-1/#comment-5594 Tue, 18 Aug 2009 01:54:44 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/08/17/the-muppets-take-paris/#comment-5594 Well, I suppose we out here in Paris ought to be thankful : after all, He could have sent us Bo.

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By: Mark Beauchamp http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/08/17/the-muppets-take-paris/comment-page-1/#comment-5587 Mon, 17 Aug 2009 21:14:41 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/08/17/the-muppets-take-paris/#comment-5587 ….however, a Muppet version of “The Ugly American”, set (this time) in France could be a really, really funny movie. Call this “extended location scouting” and you’re good!

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