Topics: Barack Obama

Obama giving top diplomatic assignments to biggest campaign fundraisers

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Beltway Confidential,Sean Higgins,Campaign 2012,Barack Obama,Campaign Finance,Analysis

Pity poor Anna Wintour. The Vogue editor-in-chief wants a plum diplomatic assignment as ambassador to London or Paris but it appears she will not get it. As one of President Obama’s top 2012 campaign funding bundlers, she must have thought her $2.68 million haul guaranteed her either location.

Alas, Wintour was only Obama’s fourth largest bundler, reports the Hill. “[S]he’s expected to have to settle for something else,” the newspaper reports.

That was one of the many amusing details in the newspaper’s report on how Obama is using appointments to diplomatic posts to reward friends and supporters. Most previous presidents have essentially sold these posts to supporters too. By all measures, Obama is actually outdoing his predecessors though.

“As of June 28, 32.2 percent of Obama’s ambassadorial appointments had gone to political appointees, according to the American Foreign Service Association, versus 30.02 percent under George W. Bush, 27.82 percent under Bill Clinton and 31.30 percent under George H.W. Bush,” according to the Hill.

The prices for those ambassador posts are hitting new highs too. Former JPMorgan Vice President Azita Raji, who raised $3.15 million, is reportedly in line to become ambassador to Switzerland. Women for Obama finance chairwoman Denise Bauer raised $2.36 million and has been named ambassador to Belgium.

Others include: UK ambassador Matthew Barzun ($2.31 million raised); German ambassador John Emerson ($1.56 million); Dominican Republic ambassador James Brewster ($1.12 million); Spain ambassador James Costos ($1.12 million); and Singapore ambassador Kirk Wagar ($1.12 million).

Unfortunately, the Hill story does not list the price tag to be ambassador to Aruba. That would be some handy information for this reporter to have.

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