How to Blow One of the Best Jobs in the World

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Photo: Courtesy of the State Department

When rich people contribute lots of money to whichever candidate eventually becomes president, they are often rewarded with appointments as American ambassadors to countries around the world. Not the important countries, mind you, where they would actually need to deal with complicated and perhaps dangerous issues. We're talking tropical paradises in the Caribbean or peaceful, wealthy Western European and Scandinavian countries. One of the cushiest of all, reportedly, is Luxembourg, which is where Cynthia Stroum, the heiress to a wealthy Seattle family who bundled $500,000 for then-candidate President Obama in 2008, was posted. It seems almost impossible that someone could find a way to screw up such a plum gig, but Stroum resigned two weeks ago ("to spend more time with her family") amid an investigation from the State Department inspector general. Here's what the investigation found, according to Talking Points Memo:


The now-former U.S Ambassador to Luxembourg, Cynthia Stroum, had members of the small staff of the embassy spend the majority of their time on the important task of finding her a temporary residence that met her high standards; made refurbishing the bathroom at the ambassador's residence a top personal priority; told them that she could snoop on their e-mails; and left her office so demoralized that some top staffers volunteered to serve in two war zone embassies rather than continue to work under her leadership.

Oh well. Back to a still awesome life as a millionaire in Seattle then.

Luxembourg Ambassador Demoralized Embassy; Had Staff House Hunt, Splurged On Mattress [TPM]