A bundler for President Barack Obama who is nominated as the next U.S. ambassador to Argentina said Thursday that he’s never actually been to that country.
During a Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing for political consultant Noah Mamet, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) asked “Mr. Mamet, have you been to Argentina?”
“Senator, I haven’t had the opportunity yet to be there,” Mamet replied. “I’ve traveled pretty extensively around the world, but I haven’t yet had a chance.”
Rubio said he thought Mamet’s resume was “impressive” but cautioned that the ambassadorship in Argentina was a “very significant post,” and it is perhaps more so now that the country’s currency has plunged.
But Mamet didn’t have half as bad a time during his hearing as George J. Tsunis, a businessman and Obama donor nominated as the U.S. ambassador to Norway, did. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) skewered Tsunis last month for his lack of knowledge about the country — he said Norway has a “president” when it is actually a constitutional monarchy — prompting a Norway website to describe his testimony as a “jaw-dropping diplomatic blunder.”
And former Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), now the next U.S. ambassador to China, said during one of his confirmation hearings that he’s “no real expert on China.” An aid later said the senator was just being modest.
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.