Nominee for Ambassador to Argentina Hasn't Been There, but Has Raised Lots of Money for Obama

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 7 2014 9:45 AM

Nominee for Ambassador to Argentina Hasn't Been There, but Has Raised Lots of Money for Obama

Filibuster reform has taken away the tool Republicans used to hold up President Obama's nomines for non-lifetime posts. The party has adapted to this reality with a tactic much appreciated by journalists: public shaming. Today's example is the confirmation hearing of Noah Bryson Mamet, who's up for ambassador to Argentina and who bundled at least $500,000 for the Obama campaign, according to the Center for Public Integrity. He has not, as Marco Rubio found during questioning, been to Argentina.

Obviously, a diplomatic posting in Buenos Aires is an enviable gig, probably one of the few dozen best ambassador gigs in the world. But this is a hell of a time to take it. Argentina, like a lot of next-wave developing nations, failed to build the sort of foreign currency reserve that would have sheltered it from the current slump. (Also in this category: South Africa, Turkey, Venezuela.) Delicate times, probably opportune times for a diplomat with years logged in South America.

Advertisement

Mamet's confirmation didn't go as poorly as the one for George James Tsunis, nominated for a posting in Oslo, then accidentally too ready to admit he didn't know basic facts about Norway.* He may not become like Nicole Avant, an Obama 2008 finance chair for Southern California who went to the Bahamas and was absent from the embassy about 40 percent of the time.

*Correction, Feb. 7, 2014: This post originally misspelled George James Tsunis' last name.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Jurisprudence

Scalia’s Liberal Streak

The conservative justice’s most brilliant—and surprisingly progressive—moments on the bench.

Colorado Is Ground Zero for the Fight Over Female Voters

There’s a Way to Keep Ex-Cons Out of Prison That Pays for Itself. Why Don’t More States Use It?

The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B

Culturebox

Theo’s Joint and Vanessa’s Whiskey

No sitcom did the “Very Special Episode” as well as The Cosby Show.

Television

The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

Cliff Huxtable Explains the World: Five Lessons From TV’s Greatest Dad

Why Television Needs a New Cosby Show Right Now

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 18 2014 8:20 PM A Clever Attempt at Explaining Away a Vote Against the Farm Bill
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 18 2014 6:02 PM A Chinese Company Just Announced the Biggest IPO in U.S. History
  Life
The Slate Quiz
Sept. 18 2014 11:44 PM Play the Slate News Quiz With Jeopardy! superchampion Ken Jennings.
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 18 2014 8:07 PM Crying Rape False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Every Day That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 4:33 PM The Top 5 Dadsplaining Moments From The Cosby Show
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 6:48 PM By 2100 the World's Population Could Be 11 Billion
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 18 2014 3:35 PM Do People Still Die of Rabies? And how do you know if an animal is rabid?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.