POLITICS: PennAve

White House: Donating big money to Obama doesn't guarantee a job

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Politics,White House,Brian Hughes,Barack Obama,PennAve,Norway,Jay Carney,Foreign Policy,Argentina

White House press secretary Jay Carney insisted Wednesday that President Obama did not select his nominees for ambassadorships based on how much money individuals donated to his political campaigns.

“Being a donor does not get you a job in this administration nor does it preclude you from one,” Carney said, adding that Obama chose candidates for such posts from a “variety of walks of life.”

However, the administration has been embarrassed recently by nominees unable to answer basic questions about the countries to which they are being appointed.

George Tsunis, Obama's nominee for ambassador to Norway, seemed unfamiliar with the structure of the Norwegian government during a hearing on Capitol Hill. And Tsunis also told lawmakers the Progress Party was a fringe element in Norway, when it actually has major representation in the country's government.

Tsunis, however, did raise nearly $850,000 for the president's re-election efforts in 2012.

And Noah Bryson Mamet, another Obama bundler who was nominated as ambassador to Argentina, told lawmakers he had never been to the South American nation.

“I haven't had the opportunity yet to be there," the nominee said. "I've traveled pretty extensively around the world, but I haven't yet had a chance."

For his part, Obama's top spokesman put his name in the running for the vacant ambassadorship to France.

When asked why the post hadn't been filled yet, Carney quipped, “I'm still being vetted.”

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