Friday, September 11, 2009

Finally, Australia gets an ambassador from the US

Its been a little odd here in Oz lately, something has been missing but we couldnt quite quite put our finger on what it was, well now we've remembered, is a US Ambassador!

Ok, perhaps that's a little extreme and in reality only those of us who pay attention to these things noticed but still it has felt weird not having an ambassador from the US for quite some time. But the announcement is made and we are getting Jeff Bleich, described as Obama's Superman by The Australian.

If you want to read more about the guy go to The Australian article - its ok.

In short, it appears we have got another political appointtee rather than a career diplomat - and that's fine by me, why?

  • First, governments face great embarrassment if a political appointtee screws up, therefore they are usually extra careful to send someone how might not have the exact experience but will be extraordinarily competent.
  • Second, political appointees usually have direct access to high levels of government (also usually often based on mutual friendships with leaders) providing a unique opportunity to the country receiving the politicians mate. And finally,
  • Third, political appointees fall into two camps, the comfortable retirement and the career advancement. Appointments to the Vatican and the Holy Sea are a reward for years of hard toil and a chance to see out your final years. The people sent there are usually in their late 60's and this will be there last job. Jeff Bleich is just 48 and in the middle of what appears a glittering career, he's a man going places. I cant see him swanning about the outback for a few years before retiring, I expect him to be looking to make his mark by doing something special. Given we aren't hiding any illegal nukes and turn up to all the right parties always wearing the right clothes I'm guessing that "something special" will be nice.
Welcome Jeff, glad to have you on board.

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