George Tsunis, a businessman and lawyer from Long Island, NY, donated $50,000 to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)’s campaign for president in 2008. In 2012, he switched sides, and bundled nearly $1 million in donations for the Obama campaign. So, naturally, like other bundlers with no foreign policy experience, he was near the top of the list for a plum ambassadorial post. Unfortunately, the Senate still has retained the formality of confirmation hearings.
The future U.S. Ambassador to Norway flubbed, badly, in his hearings–or, as one Norwegian website put it, gave a “a faltering, incoherent performance” that “display[ed] total ignorance of Norway.” Tsunis endured the indignity of being corrected on factual points by none other than Sen. McCain himself, but remained “apparently under the impression that the country is a republic rather than a constitutional monarchy.”
Thanks to new rules imposed by Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), there is no possibility of filibustering Mr. Tsunis, who is likely to be confirmed otherwise, given Democrats’ majority. Despite his lack of knowledge or qualifications, Tsunis’s generous contributions to Obama and the Democratic Party have earned him the job–a practice continued from previous administrations, Republican and Democrat, though rarely this embarrassing.
Image source: oxidayfoundation.org