Thursday, June 11, 2009

Out with the Honda, in with the Volvo

President Barack Obama has announced a bunch of ambassadorial nominations. We're not quite at the Lord of the Onion Rings level attained under George Bush, but it's once again clear that many countries get reserved for pure political appointments. So one is reduced to hoping that Obama's political supporters club is better than Bush's. Which it probably is. Anyway --

Howard W. Gutman, Ambassador to Belgium

Howard Gutman is a partner with Williams & Connolly LLP. Identified as one of "Washington's Top Lawyers" by Washingtonian magazine,

No doubt the Belgians are already impressed. Not that they could do worse than Sam "Foxy" Fox, rammed in by Bush as a recess appointment when it was clear that the Cheney crony would not be approved by the Senate.

Don Beyer, Ambassador to Switzerland and the Principality of Lichtenstein

Mr. Beyer was elected Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in 1989 and served until 1998. In that capacity, he presided over the Virginia Senate, earning the reputation as the most activist President of the Senate in Virginia history.

Also known for the Don Beyer Volvo dealership chain. Bush sent car dealer fortunes as ambassadors to the eastern Caribbean and the UK, so again we're ahead. But the general sense is that ChangeTM won't be coming to this particular aspect of the President's job.

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