Change: Obama offers plum appointments to big donors

Posted on May 29, 2009

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In another example of the different kind of politician Barack Obama was advertised to be, we see how big-time political donors get offered sweetheart appointments, often to ambassadorships, and quite obviously in thanks for swelling his campaign coffers. Among the appointments:

  • Louis Susman, appointed ambassador to the UK, raised between $200,000 and $500,000
  • John Roos, appointed ambassador to Japan, raised $500,000
  • Charles Rivkin, appointed ambassador to France, raised $500,000 for Obama’s campaign and $300,000 for the inauguration
  • Laurie Fulton, appointed ambassador to Denmark, raised between $100,000 and $200,000
  • Dan Rooney, appointed ambassador to Ireland, is the owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and endorsed Obama as a Republican, which probably helped Obama in what was at times a close race in Pennsylvania

Obviously, Obama is by no means the first President to do this. Both Bushes and Clinton have done the same, and indeed, the article notes that since JFK, over one-third of ambassadorships have gone to campaign donors. It doesn’t make Obama stand out as a chief symbol of cronyism – but it does further put to rest the absurd assumption that Obama is anything but a standard politician.

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Posted in: Politics