4 Embarrassing Obama Ambassador Appointees

What’s it take to become an ambassador in the United States? A lot of money. More specifically, a lot of money that’s been donated to the President’s campaign efforts. Despite Obama’s previous pledge to break Washington tradition and not just award ambassador positions to friends and donors as a type of thank you gift, he continues to appoint a lot of check-writers to these jobs anyway.

So what happens when someone who has no qualifications to be an ambassador (other than deep pockets) gets the job? Inevitably, some of the results are pretty embarrassing. Hitting the headlines this week, we have…


1. George Tsunis

George Tsunis, a man who has given more than $500,000 of his own money to the Democratic party in the past four years, has magically lucked into receiving a nomination for Ambassador to Norway by Obama. While you’d think Tsunis would take some time to brush up on Norwegian facts before attending his confirmation hearing, he put his ignorance on display.

In addition to saying that Norway has a president (it’s a constitutional monarchy), he claimed that one of the country’s major political parties was a “fringe” group that has been denounced by the government, while it actually plays a significant role in the Norway’s governmental coalition. Sadly, because politicians seem to consider ambassador positions jokes and a form of favor currency, Tsunis is expected to be officially confirmed anyway.


2. Cynthia Stroum

Obama appointed Cynthia Stroum as the ambassador of Luxembourg. A “philanthropist,” Stroum’s main qualification seemed to be that she raised more than $500,000 for Obama’s 2008 campaign.

Employees complained that she had no idea what she was doing and called her leadership “aggressive, bullying, hostile, and intimidating.“ Some found Stroum so difficult to work with that they offered to leave their extremely safe country to work at the Iraq or Afghanistan embassies instead.

After directing her staff to spend several days picking out patio furniture and use the remainder of her budget to purchase a stockpile of alcohol, it’s no surprise that Stroum soon resigned to spend more time with her family.


3. Scott Gration

During Obama’s first presidential race, former Air Force major general Scott Gration forged a special relationship with Obama by becoming “one of his most vocal military advocates on the campaign trail.” Gration’s allegiance earned certain perks – in 2012, he was named ambassador to Kenya. When performance reviews of American ambassadors revealed that Gration ranked dead last, Gration hastily resigned, all the while maintaining the polls were wrong.

The real question is how Gration was awarded a second major foreign diplomacy position after his previous failure. In 2011, Gration served as the special envoy to Sudan, but shied away from addressing the country’s human rights atrocities occurring in Darfur. Furthermore, he likened the Sudanese people to children, insisting he could win them over with a condescending reward-based system. “We’ve got to think about giving out cookies,” Gration said. “Kids, countries – they react to gold stars, smiley faces, handshakes, agreements, talk, engagement.” Surprisingly, gold stars and cookies didn’t solve problems for an area marked by genocide.


4. Nicole Avant

Music industry executive Nicole Avant was appointed as the Ambassador of the Bahamas after fundraising half a million for Obama’s first presidential run. According to the State Department, her two-year stint is categorized as “an extended period of dysfunctional leadership and mismanagement.”

The main problem seems to have been apathy. Avant spent 40% of her tenure out of the country, unheard of for an Ambassador, and even when she was in the country, she preferred to work from home rather than the office, leaving her staff without guidance. By 2012, Avant had resigned her post and milked her Hollywood connections to secure funds for Obama’s second presidential race.


Jim Ven
Jim Ven1 years ago

thanks for the article.

Fred h
Fred H3 years ago

Thank you Kevin, for Sharing this!

Carole L.
Carole L3 years ago

“why does the left support this man?”

why did the right support GW?

Jacob R
“No - not that Obama accepts bribes - I'm shocked that liberals are only now starting to realize it!”

LOL, good thing you're so close to your fainting couch. "awyee declayah... wahyee, ayme shawcked! shawcked!" n'eeeyes of course, 'how' could we have been sssso 'blind'. How little you comprehend about progressives. Thanks for the laugh just the same dude. At any rate, even though this is not the first care2 negative story concerning democrats, now maybe you'll quit bitching with your paranoid, preconceived notions that care2 “never” posts “negative” stories about the Democratic party. Perhaps, the issue is that you have short/long term memory loss. there are tests for that.

Oh look at all the trolls salivating at nothing, someone get a mop. you trolls are so amusing.

Christian Gallison

Gee, Obama appointed a couple of bad people. So far 4 out of what, 200 countries. Ho Hum! How many stupid or questionable appointments have his predecessors made? Obama is Satan! Bush is Satan! Sounds more like Pavlov's dogs than thinking humans.

Paul B.
Paul B3 years ago

You wonder why Reps opposed these policies... its because as evidenced NOW, they were BAD policies and the reason we are still struggling economy. Reps didn't oppose them because they were suggested by Obama... they opposed them because of the simple fact that they are BAD POLICY. His "fundamental transformation" is NOT going well for MOST of Americans who were promised many things, but were delivered mostly lies.

You need to back off the steady stream of talking points from the left's media creators and look at the details of what happened and the true results of what they created, or didn't create. Most of it was based on false assumptions, were designed mostly to benefit their benefactors and cronies, including Wall Street and Unions, and his host of donors who he owed for their generous support.

Yes, too much money in politics creates problems, and we are continuing to see that effect with this administration. Some things never change!!! DC is one of those things. The more power we give them, the worse this is going to get as all that power creates all that much more corruption. Some day you may realize that. All you have to do is look behind the curtain... but the liberal media hides it well, securely fastening the curtain by denying you information that would reveal much of what I speak.

How's that Hope and Change working out for you???

Paul B.
Paul B3 years ago

Jan... You are exaggerating a bit are you? That is NOT what Reps said, or meant. they declared that they were against many of the policies Obama had in mind to legislate, the stimulus... as we see did little to boost the economy, despite the arguments that it "saved" our economy... there is no proof and no way to prove otherwise. they opposed ObamaCare knowing that it was a failure in the making... as we see now that it is destroying the economy on top of all the other policies surrounding the healthcare laws, most people oppose, but were PUSHED through anyway. They opposed the Quantitative Easing of the Fed as it is creating an inflationary bubble.. just look at the cost of groceries, gas, a lot of things we buy are steadily rising in price... due a lot to the expansion of our currency. Plus, you know where MOST that money ended up... in Wall Street's pockets.

Jan W.
Jan W3 years ago

J C B asked, "why does the left support this man?"

Why did the right support GW Bush?

I readily admit that I am disappointed in Obama. But then, he started his presidency with the GOP's declaration that their ONLY goal to stop anything he did. The GOP didn't declare that they would work with him for the sake of the country, they said they would oppose his support for anything - even if it was their idea to begin with.

Stupid ambassadors is bad, but opposition for the sake of opposition to the detriment of their own country should be called what it is - treason.

Jan W.
Jan W3 years ago

Obama isn't the first to do this and he won't be the last until we get mega-campaign money out of our politics.

Jacob, your bitterness is showing and it does appear to be endless. Sarcasm rarely informs and never endears.

Glenda L.
Glenda L3 years ago


Paul B.
Paul B3 years ago

Can we expand this to Cabinet posts, Federal judges and my favorite pet complaint of recent Presidents... their political appointees to major DC agency openings, including the csars. Many of these guys are flaming radicals bent on the total transformation of America, using their power as political weapons against their enemies.

Not only are there idiots, common of almost all presidential appointments, found in every presidency, but it is the appointments that can have specific impact that worry us the most... like the IRS WH appointee would was involved, and partially directed that scandalous activity.