Connect to share and comment

Obama's pick for Norway ambassador doesn't know anything about Norway

George Tsunis should have Googled 'Norway' before his Senate hearing.

Right about now Obama is wishing he hadn't nominated George Tsunis to be the next ambassador to Norway.

Why?

Partly because he doesn't know really basic things about Norway (like the fact that they don't have a president). But mainly because he made that very clear at his Senate hearing by doing things like referring to Norway's "president."

Oy.

Tsunis, shockingly enough, is a top political donor. The businessman and lawyer from Long Island raised $988,550 for Obama in 2012.

Check this out:

Among his other blunders at the hearing, Tsunis referred to Norway's Progress Party as being among "fringe elements" that have been denounced by the government.

Which prompted Sen. John McCain to point out, rather sassily, that actually they are the government:

"The government has denounced them? The coalition government — they're part of the coalition of the government."

(The Progress Party has warned against "creeping Islamization" and once listed Anders Behring Breivik among its members, but it is very much a part of the coalition government in Norway.)

Tsunis: "Well I, you know, I stand corrected."

McCain: "I have no more questions for this incredibly highly qualified group of nominees."

Score McCain. It wasn't pretty.

Norway, as you may imagine, has taken note. One website characterized his performance as "faltering" and "incoherent" and displaying a "total ignorance of Norway."

Perhaps Obama has taken note too, and will stick to nominating ambassadors who actually have some foreign policy experience. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/140124/george-tsunis-norway-ambassador-obama