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In an article titled, “Who’s got dibs on France? Trump friends and donors jockey for ambassadorships,” the Washington Post depicts ultra-wealthy friends of the president shamelessly maneuvering for cushy gigs as ambassadors.

The piece suggests friends of President Trump are taking a uniquely brazen approach to their quest for these appointments, claiming, “Trump is a businessman, and his backers are less coy and more matter-of-fact about their ambitions.”

Still, no matter how unabashed the president’s friends are, it will be difficult for him to compete with Barack Obama’s legacy of using ambassadorships as a way of rewarding wealthy donors.

As Daniel Allott noted in the Washington Examiner just last month, President Obama named 31 of his campaign bundlers to diplomatic posts:

Those 31 people collectively raised more than $20 million for Obama’s two presidential runs. In addition to those 31, Obama tapped 39 people to ambassadorships who gave money to his campaigns or are political allies.
Most of them have been deployed to friendly and wealthy countries in Western Europe. But included among them are China and India, countries where the stakes are high, diplomatic skills are essential, and a deep knowledge of the people and politics is invaluable.

“This sort of diplomatic quid pro quo is nothing new,” Allott noted, “What is new is just how extensive it’s gotten under Obama.”

In its rundown, the Washington Post names fewer than 10 Trump backers, some of whom did not even raise money for him, who are jockeying for or have already been appointed to ambassadorships. As of now, that’s nothing compared with the numbers Obama put up.

Trump may follow Obama’s lead in this or he may not. Regardless, readers of the Washington Post article are left with no clue that when it comes to rewarding inexperienced multimillionaires with key ambassadorships, his predecessor set the trend.

Emily Jashinsky is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.

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