Jon Stewart blasts Obama’s corrupt diplomatic appointments

Jon Stewart on Obama's diplomatic appointees

Jon Stewart took aim at President Barack Obama’s diplomatic appointees in a segment on The Daily Show last night, mocking the White House for handing out ambassadorships to high-dollar campaign bundlers.

Stewart recalled his recent interview with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), in which she disputed the notion that money has corrupted Washington, though she said that Republicans are responsible for giving in to special interests.

“It’s good to know that Democrats are impervious to that, because it means that we don’t have to worry about things that Democrats are in charge of,” Stewart said. “For instance, the ambassadors appointed by our Democratic president. Surely he chooses them, then, on their merits.”

Stewart then cut away to footage of a couple of President Obama’s diplomatic nominees who, in Senate confirmation hearings, told senators that they had never visited the countries to which they’ve been appointed to represent American interests.

“Let me ask this, have any of you f**king people been to EPCOT Center? Have you been anywhere?” Stewart said. “Is there rule that ambassadors can’t have set foot in the country they’re going to ambassador? Would it ruin the surprise?”

“I mean, it definitely couldn’t be because the new Norway nominee raised $850,000 for the Obama reelection campaign, or the Argentinean one raised $500,000, or the Icelandic one bundled $1.6 million. Because that would mean not only would Democrats be seen as corrupt, Nancy Pelosi told me personally that only Republicans are,” he added.

Stewart went on to lampoon the new U.S. Ambassador to China, former Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), who recently said that the’s “no real expert on China.” He mocked Baucus, saying, “I’ve, uh, played their checkers. I’ve, uh, gotten out of their finger traps. Uhhhh, I’m pretty confident I can do it.”

The Daily Show host also noted that Democrats did have other motives in appointing Baucus. “To be fair to Baucus, he did not raise money for the President,” he noted. “He actually stepped down from the Senate so the Democratic governor of Montana could appoint his replacement, making it more likely that Democrats will retain the Senate.

“You know, non-financial corruption,” he added.

The White House said that donations don’t buy a job in the administration, claiming that President Obama is “not different from his predecessors” in giving donors appointments. That’s true. But an ABC News report recently pointed out that President Obama “has done more — more appointees to political supporters than Bush or Clinton.”


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