America’s diplomats are shuddering at the notion that Donald Trump, if elected president, will send unqualified cronies around the world as ambassadors, exporting his bombastic style to sensitive jobs that represent the face of the United States.
.. Like some of his predecessors, President Barack Obama has been criticized for handing out plum diplomatic posts to prominent campaign donors. According to one analysis, Obama has named at least 29 campaign bundlers to ambassadorships, many of them in posh Western European nations.
.. Around 30 percent of Obama’s ambassador appointments have been “political,” according to statistics kept by AFSA. That’s in line with most of Obama’s predecessors dating to the Gerald Ford era.
.. Some countries may even prefer having a political appointee as the U.S. ambassador because of the belief that person is a heavy-hitter who is more likely to have the president’s ear than a traditional State Department employee. Generally speaking, the tougher, less-glamorous assignments — such as Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, or Yemen — tend to go to career diplomats,
.. Already, there is speculation that Trump may name former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani as his ambassador to Mexico
.. no matter who wins November’s election, the American penchant for political appointments is undercutting U.S. anti-corruption initiatives around the world. It’s hard to warn other nations against the dangers of cronyism or selling political office when so many of your ambassadors were campaign bundlers.