Note: This blog draws in part on my experiences and observations interviewing political figures, writers, and analysts for "The Campbell Conversations" on WRVO. To hear past interviews I refer to in these posts, please go to the show's website. The views expressed here are solely my own, and do not represent Syracuse University, the Campbell Institute, or the WRVO Stations.

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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Plus Ca Change.....

I opened up my college alumni magazine and came across this first paragraph of a feature profile:

"I used to tell people I worked in the world's oldest profession," says Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis, making a joking reference to her career with her family's California land-development firm.  That was before she answered a call last fall from the U.S. State Department--while on a golf course--and was offered her choice of three ambassadorships.

Something's wrong with that paragraph.  Though to its credit the profile goes on to note the possibility that her appointment might have had something to do with the more than $1 million she helped raise for Hillary Clinton, this is--and stick with me on the double-negative here--not change I can't believe in.

Update:  As with all life, things can get more complicated.  Here's something I came across in editing a chapter for a new edition of a book, from Robert Maranto, a political science professor at the University of Arkansas:  "Even the use of noncareer ambassadors, which journalists and members of Congress love to attack, may in practice prove necessary.  As an Office of Presidential Personnel official told me, Congress simply does not appropriate sufficient funds to support major embassies, which makes the recruitment of wealthy (and one hopes charming) campaign contributors a practical necessity."  Fair enough, but I still don't like it.

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