Obama nominates Citigroup exec to foreign service

.

Nominee gave big dollars to Obama campaign

By Jonathan D. Salant and Julianna Goldman

May 29 (Bloomberg) — Louis Susman has one thing in common with many of his predecessors nominated to be the U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom: money.

Susman, 71, a retired Citigroup Inc. senior investment banker, raised between $200,000 and $500,000 for President Barack Obama’s presidential campaign and another $300,000 for his inauguration. On Wednesday, Obama nominated Susman to the post formally known as the Court of St. James.

Like Andrew Mellon, Joseph Kennedy and Walter Annenberg before him, Susman’s credentials stem more from involvement in financing party politics than foreign policy experience.

Even with his pledges to change government, Obama is following the tradition of his predecessors by offering some ambassadorships to top campaign backers, including four of the 12 nominations this week. The president acknowledged in a news conference in January that donors might get plum postings.

“The practice of rewarding donors is a remnant of the spoils system that we abolished in the civil service,” said career diplomat Ronald Neumann, president of the American Academy of Diplomacy and a former ambassador to Afghanistan. “It is a dismal testimony to the importance of money in our electoral system.”

“That said, the republic will survive the president selling a few embassies.”

Citi has received $45 billion from taxpayers in the last four months.

Citi, Shariah, Islamic finance, terrorism connection

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: