A big fundraiser for President Barack Obama has been nominated ambassador to Argentina.
If confirmed, it will be his first visit to the country.
“Mr. Mamet, have you been to Argentina?” Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio asked Noah Bryson Mamet in a Senate hearing.
Mamet, who is from Los Angeles and is the owner of Noah Mamet and Associates, raised nearly $1.4 million for Obama’s campaign during 2011 and 2012, according to a database compiled by The New York Times. And since 2007, Mamet has helped raise over $1.7 million in total for Obama.
“Senator,” responded Mamet, “I haven’t had the opportunity yet to be there. I travel pretty extensively around the world. But I haven’t yet had a chance.”
Rubio praised Mamet’s impressive resume, but said he was concerned at the nominee’s lack of familiarity with the country.
“I think this is a very significant post,” said Rubio.
Argentina, which has a history of problems with its currency, is currently experiencing its highest rate of inflation growth in a decade. The nation’s central bank has also experienced heavy capital outflows over the past year; central bank reserves have fallen by over 34 percent, according to Bloomberg.
But appointments for big-time donors are nothing new.
The Center for Public Integrity, which tracks the fundraising efforts of political appointees, noted that 23 Obama bundlers have been appointed to ambassadorships during Obama’s second term. Around 30 percent of all ambassadorships have been awarded to bundlers.
Obama was once critical of political appointments for fundraisers. “They write the checks and you get stuck with the bills, they get the access while you get to write a letter, they think they own this government,” candidate Obama said in 2007.
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