Cringe-worthy Obama nominee withdraws
I confess that I halfway looked forward to George Tsunis being confirmed as ambassador to Norway. He could have made for a highly amusing storyline on Season 3 of Lilyhammer, the hilarious Netflix Original series that satirizes political correctness in Norway and the clash of cultures between American Mafiosi and Scandinavian self-righteous niceness. But when Harry Reid failed to shove him through Senate confirmation in the back-door deal last weekend, the handwriting was on the wall for the spectacularly unqualified nominee. No way would a GOP majority next year confirm such an ignorant putz.
David Matosko of the U.K. Daily Mail brings us the news most of the American media is too busy to report.
Opposition to President Barack Obama's nominee for U.S. ambassador to Norway has grown in Congress to the point where Long Island, New York businessman George Tsunis now says he doesn't plan to pursue the job when the new Congress convenes in January. (snip)
During his Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, however, he bungled questions about Norway's political parties and spoke of the nation's 'president' – even though it is a constitutional monarchy with a king and a prime minister.
Tsunis also claimed that the Progress Party, a Norwegian anti-Islamist party that opposes immigration above a token 1,000 people per year and advocates for AIDS testing for all new arrivals, was a fringe group and nothing more.
'You get some fringe elements that have a microphone and spew their hatred,' he complained.
'And although I will tell you Norway has been very quick to denounce them, we’re going to continue to work with Norway to make sure –'
A stunned Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain interrupted Tsunis to remind him that the Progress Party was considered a mainstream political influence in Oslo.
It's actually the third-largest party in Norway's parliament, and its leader Siv Jensen is the country's current finance minister.
It is inconceivable to me that a nominee facing a Senate hearing would not bother to inform himself, but then again, I come from an old era in which people were supposed to have qualifications for jobs. Evidently, Barack Obama’s presidency has smashed that paradigm.
Tsunis, who had never visited Norway prior to his nomination, didn’t even bother to pay a visit prior to testifying.
But in more serious moments, since we are discussing serious qualifications, I have to admit that Tsunis would have been an insult to NATO allies, and a key energy producer. It’s a good thing he has done the right thing.
I guess Obama will have to go a bit farther down his list of bundlers and find someone who has actually been to Norway.