Colleen Bell is a Hollywood supporter of Barack Obama. She is known as the producer of the wildly successful television soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful. Bloomberg News columnist Jeffrey Goldberg has uncharitably characterized the show as “her masterwork.” Her true masterwork is in the fundraising department; she raised more than $500,000 for Obama’s reelection from her friends in Hollywood.So, who cares that she can't actually identify any US interests in Hungary. She gave Obama a lot of money. And she's ... a soap opera producer!
Obama duly rewarded Bell with appointment as the United States ambassador to Hungary. Okay, she earned the appointment the old-fashioned way. Her appointment remained pending in the Senate all year; she was only confirmed to the position by the Senate (under its new no-filibuster rule) earlier this week.
So, it's obvious why we would want her as an ambassador, right?
White House spokesman Josh Earnest was unable to provide a cogent explanation for why Colleen Bell, a former soap opera producer, just became the U.S. ambassador to Hungary:Right now, Caligula's horse is looking more competent many members of the Obama administration.
"Josh, I wanted to ask you about something else that happened today in the Senate," said ABC's Jon Karl in today's White House press briefing. "You had some of your ambassadors confirmed after a long, long process. One of those is Colleen Bell, confirmed as ambassador to Hungary. If you can remind me, what are Colleen Bell's qualifications for ambassador? Was it that she was a soap opera producer, is it that she gave hundreds of thousands of dollars -- or helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Obama reelection campaign? Why was she chosen?"
"As it relates to Ambassador Bell," said Earnest, after taking a shot at the Senate for being to slow to confirm Obama's picks, "she is somebody who retains the confidence that -- well, let me say it this way -- Ambassador Bell has the president's confidence that she will do an excellent job representing the U.S. and maintaining the important relationship the U.S. has with the government and the people of Hungary."
Karl followed up, "But where does the president get that confidence from? I mean, in her confirmation hearing she couldn't even name a single strategic interest the U.S. had with Hungary?"
"Well, she certainly is somebody, again, that is--has had her own distinguished private sector career--"
"As a soap opera producer," Karl interjected.
"Well, and as somebody who obviously has succeeded in the business world and she is somebody that the president has confidence will be able to maintain our relationship with the government and the people of Hungary," Earnest said.