Friday, December 12, 2008

The Country We Are Considering You For.

Funny/sad/hopefully about to change:
It was late 2005, and this three-time ambassador had just been interviewed for a top post at the Department of State.

Her interviewer was part of a large corps of 20-somethings — some were in their early 30s — who ran the Office of Presidential Personnel. Many of them were sons or daughters of supporters of President George W. Bush. Others had connections through congressmen. With few exceptions, they had one thing in common: very little experience and a very big attitude.

Another top foreign service officer called me after his interview to be ambassador to a volatile African country. “The problem was,” he told me, “the kid interviewing me could not pronounce the name of the country I was being interviewed for. It made for an awkward interview until he just started saying ‘the country we are considering you for.’”

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