Administration's Shortlist For Ambassador Appointments Includes Four Hollywood Donors

from the how-refreshing!-[eyerolls-and-sarcasm-tags-galore] dept

It's time for Obama to appoint a few ambassadors and the short list appears to be stuffed with exactly the sort of people that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce would wholeheartedly approve. The CoC's desire to rewrite other nations' IP laws through slanted "free trade agreements" or the odious TPP would likely gain a few allies willing to soften up the opposition before the main push.

The Hollywood Reporter has taken a look at Obama's donor list and named a few loyalists who might be rewarded for their election-run largesse with an ambassadorial appointment. And, no surprise, many of the names have close ties with Hollywood.
Among the Barack Obama loyalists under consideration for ambassadorial appointments are Los Angeles-based White House decorator Michael Smith, 47; Hollywood philanthropist and television producer Colleen Bell, 45; industry money manager John Emerson, 57; and Tennis Channel chief Ken Solomon, 49. And the Westside L.A. dinner-party circuit has started buzzing with conversations about who else might be in the mix this time around.

According to sources, many of the candidates were among 100 guests invited to the White House in early December for an East Room dinner at which Obama and the first lady thanked longtime fundraisers and Democratic activists for their support. Among the Hollywood-connected contingent at the event were Emerson; Solomon; Wintour; Smith and his partner, HBO executive James Costos; Bell and her husband, soap opera producer Bradley Bell; political and philanthropic consultant Noah Mamet; Harvey Weinstein; and Hollywood political consultant Andy Spahn.
In addition to the title (which appointees get to hold onto for life), there's a bit of prestige and a salary of $150,000-180,000 attached to the job. In order to repay an industry for its nearly unwavering support, the administration may choose a few from its rank, both as a thank-you gesture and to ensure the "proper" mindset when approaching other countries about their "weak" IP laws.

This, of course, is part of the "revolving door" process. If an appointee serves well in this position, it gets them a foot in the political door, which could lead to a political career... which would then lead to a post-career chairperson position or the like with the entertainment industry... which could lead to a lobbying position... and so on. The entertainment industries know this political game well, and Hollywood has been more active than most in the process, especially over the past several years.

Some will claim that these appointments have nothing to do with rewarding donors, like this unnamed person:
According to an administration insider: "There is no single thing that qualifies you to be an ambassador, but they have one thing in common: They have all earned the trust and respect of the president. He isn't going to choose someone just because they've raised $500,000. He has to know them."
Of course, it's not all about the money. It's also about the industry itself. The entertainment industry has been a strong supporter of the Obama administration and has not been very shy about expressing its appreciation for the government's willingness to cater to its every need. It also hasn't held back when it thinks it has been wronged, as MPAA CEO Chris Dodd's post-SOPA-failure threat to withhold bribes contributions if the administration failed to hold up its end of the bargain.

So, if these candidates end up with ambassadorships, the posts will lay somewhere between thank you cards and olive branches, letting the entertainment industry know that the administration still wants its money support, and that it's willing to send the industry's people out to win hearts and minds abroad.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 5:37pm

    derail

    figured id derail this one right away, i only come here to read the articles and report ootb posts.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 6:14pm

    Has the president made friends with anyone in the last four years that isn't rich?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    out_of_the_bob, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 6:23pm

    Re: derail

    It seems Mike Google has employed some reptiles of his own to suppress the truth from us underclasses.

    WAKE UP SHEEPTOIDS

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    NullOp, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 8:08pm

    Selections

    Obama - eventually history will realize just what a zero he was.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 8:11pm

    And, no surprise, many of the names have close ties with Hollywood.

    Among the Barack Obama loyalists under consideration for ambassadorial appointments areLos Angeles-based White House decorator Michael Smith, 47; Hollywood philanthropist and television producer Colleen Bell, 45; industry money manager John Emerson, 57; and Tennis Channel chief Ken Solomon, 49.


    Seriously? These people have zero stature among the hated studios that comprise the MPAA. Do you not know how to use imdb or are you so desperate to make a point where there is none, that you simply ignore it?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    JMT (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 8:48pm

    A decorator, a TV producer, a money manager and a TV chief? I would've though diplomatic experience and knowledge of international relations would've been prerequisites but I guess not.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2012 @ 1:27am

    meh.

    everyone in southern california is broke. northern california isn't much better.

    i say spin southern california off, let them become part of mexico. they can create an intellectual property system for carlos slim and whomever the president of mexico is. they don't enforce the labor or immigration laws anyway.

    let's call the territory (that used to be part of the US) "los mexicos de la sol y frijoles refritos"

    and for a period of 2 years, you can claim amnesty, and move from los mexicos and gain us citizenship back, provided you fill out the 10-page form.

    the way I see it, is los angeles, i mean los mexicos is similar to tijuana- lots of poor jerks always begging for money or a handout.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2012 @ 1:50am

    Re:

    Has the President made any friends except the little Iranian who controls his life?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    gorehound (profile), Dec 22nd, 2012 @ 4:40am

    F#cking MAFIAA must die the Dinosaur Death !

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Captain Ahab, Dec 22nd, 2012 @ 5:14am

    Iceberg Dead Ahead!

    Sweet! I'm looking forward to the new Ambassadors taking the ships helm and navigating through the global economic waters. Let's get this Titanic Pacific Party (TPP) under way! $10 says we make it halfway across the Pacific Ocean before the ship sinks.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), Dec 22nd, 2012 @ 5:34am

    Re: Selections

    Still, he his much better than the alternative, which doesn't exactly say much but there you go.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    icon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Dec 22nd, 2012 @ 5:52am

    Re: Re: Selections

    He's no better than Bush...that says a lot.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2012 @ 1:45pm

    Hope or Hype

    As a liberal myself, I wonder how long until liberals in general begin to realize the degree to which the Obama administration has been influenced and infiltrated by lobbyists. It's too late for such a realization to make any difference now, but I think history will show him to be one of our most corrupt presidents.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Shmerl, Dec 22nd, 2012 @ 5:42pm

    And these $150,000-180,000 are coming from our taxes, so that these people could push anti Internet agendas using our money? That's outrageous.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2012 @ 8:11pm

    Re:

    Seriously, no really seriously.

    You're a broken record with no proof of anything AC.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 23rd, 2012 @ 5:01pm

    Re: Re:

    Where's the proof that these people in the outer orbit of the entertainment industry being considered for an ambassadorship is somehow a payback to the MPAA? What proof do I need, I looked them up on imdb- they're nobodies.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    icon
    hjumper (profile), Dec 24th, 2012 @ 1:34pm

    Ohh No

    Given the WH's protection of its Ambassadors...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 26th, 2012 @ 6:53am

    Be careful what you wish cor

    Ambassadors for Obama tend to get killed while he watches so I think I would look for another job.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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