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View Diary: Caroline Kennedy to be Ambassador to Japan? (20 comments)

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  •  She's likely at least as qualified as... (4+ / 0-)
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    laurel g 15942, journeyman, FG, chimene

    some other people who have served as ambassadors, like:  child actress Shirley Temple Black

    She is a Columbia Law School Graduate.

    ...Kennedy serves as a member of the national board of directors for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the vice-chair for the Fund for Public Schools in New York City, and chief executive for the New York City Department of Education Office of Strategic Partnerships...
    Whenever Kennedy's name comes up for...just about anything...she seems to draw an inordinate amount of blow back from fellow Democrats, yet, when in December it was reported that Vogue's Anna Wintour could be a US ambassador to Britain there didn't seem to be the same "concerns" expressed.  
    The big embassies, like London and Paris, tend to go to political appointees, who raised enormous amounts of money for the incoming president’s election campaign. That, for instance, is the case with (investment banker) Louis Susman, the present US ambassador in London, a great fundraiser for the Democratic party and, like Obama, from Chicago.

    There has only ever been one career US ambassador. That was the much-admired Ray Seitz, a veteran of the American foreign service, sent to London by George Bush senior in 1991 (he wrote an excellent memoir, called Over Here)...

    Luckily, Ambassadors are surrounded by and guided by career foreign service specialists and foreign service officers who can advise, and inform the ambassadors.
    •  Anna Wintour? (0+ / 0-)

      That would be dreadful.  Just dreadful.  I had not seen those reports and therefore could not express what you say are "concerns."  

      Call me silly, but I think ambassadors should have a certain gravitas and be well versed in international issues.  Ideally, they would come from the ranks of the foreign service and not from the ranks of celebrity.

      It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

      by Radiowalla on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 01:31:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Understand, but... (1+ / 0-)
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        Geopolitics are complicated, and what seems straightforward and logical, isn't always.  

        One factor in granting ambassadorships is how the host country views the potential ambassador.  In Kennedy's case, as noted here Japan would be fine with her as ambassador:  

        Diplomatic sources said that the Japanese tend to be flattered when the American ambassador is a person of great renown, because it confirms their importance to the United States. Past ambassadors to Japan have included former Senate majority leaders Mike Mansfield and Howard Baker, former vice president Walter F. Mondale, and former House speaker Tom Foley. In a precarious time for a region threatened by the increased bluster of North Korea, fallout from the nuclear accident in Japan and the country’s seemingly unyielding economic malaise, a Kennedy ambassadorship sends a strong message of commitment to the Japanese.
        Here's a report in Japan Times about her possible appointment:  
        Kennedy would fit the long tradition of presidents naming high profile envoys to key U.S. ally Japan, including former Vice President Walter Mondale and former Sens. Mike Mansfield and Howard Baker...
        But Kennedy’s chances may have been enhanced by the arrival as secretary of state of John Kerry, who was close to Caroline Kennedy’s beloved uncle, the late Sen. Edward Kennedy...
        SoS Kerry, rather than the US ambassador to Japan, would very likely be the person that would be dealing with the latest crisis from N. Korea, and he would be advised by the career State Dept. Foreign Service Specialists and Foreign Service Officers--the real experts.  

        I understand where you are coming from, preferring that ambassadors "ideally come from the ranks of foreign service officers", and often the are.  But just as often they are figureheads and the FSO's are the support staff that guides and advises them.  

        Personally, I have to admire Kennedy for wanting to serve her country.  She could just stay retired from public life, knowing all too well what a terrible price public service cost her father and her uncle.

        Many people throughout the decades have bashed the Kennedys (oftentimes deservedly) but, despite the costs and the controversies, the Kennedy family has had a legacy of public service not just in politics but in the military and diplomatic corps--sometimes at the cost of their very lives.  (JFK, RFK, Joseph P. Jr.)

        The family has shown a lesson in public service for generations...

        ...Because, no matter what you may think of politicians, many who serve in public office do so out of a desire to serve their fellow man...

        Whether or not Ms. Kennedy becomes ambassador to Japan, and whether or not she happens to be the best choice for the position, she probably wouldn't be the worst possible choice either.

        •  I agree with you, actually. (1+ / 0-)
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          Especially about her wanting to serve her country.  I admire her for many things and hope if she takes the job she will do well with it.  

          Good comment.

          It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

          by Radiowalla on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 07:26:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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