by Terresa Monroe-Hamilton | January 6, 2017 1:01 pm
President-elect Donald Trump is shaping up to be a no-nonsense president so far. Evidently on December 23rd, a mandate with no exceptions was issued to the State Department recalling all appointed ambassadors. They must vacate their posts by Inauguration Day… January 20th. It sounds uncompromising and harsh, but I can understand why Trump is doing this. He wants his people to move immediately in and start undoing the mess Obama has made. Liberals are screaming that many of Trump’s Senate-confirmed envoys will not be confirmed in time and the posts could be vacant for months. Well, then I suggest you move your ass and confirm them. There is no grace period on this directive.
This breaks with decades of tradition between incoming and outgoing presidents. But Obama brought this on his minions by being a jerk. Now, Trump wants to clean house entirely and fast. Many of the ambassadors are long time diplomats and life long politicians. Many are heavy donors of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Trump wants them gone and he means it. A senior Trump transition official said there was no ill will in the move, describing it as a simple matter of ensuring that Mr. Obama’s overseas appointees leave the government on schedule, just as thousands of political aides at the White House and in federal agencies must do. The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity about internal deliberations, said the ambassadors should not be surprised about being held to a hard end date. This is what a businessman does as president… he makes the trains run on time.
From the New York Times:
WASHINGTON — President-elect Donald J. Trump’s transition staff has issued a blanket edict requiring politically appointed ambassadors to leave their overseas posts by Inauguration Day, according to several American diplomats familiar with the plan, breaking with decades of precedent by declining to provide even the briefest of grace periods.
The mandate — issued “without exceptions,” according to a terse State Department cable sent on Dec. 23, diplomats who saw it said — threatens to leave the United States without Senate-confirmed envoys for months in critical nations like Germany, Canada and Britain. In the past, administrations of both parties have often granted extensions on a case-by-case basis to allow a handful of ambassadors, particularly those with school-age children, to remain in place for weeks or months.
Mr. Trump, by contrast, has taken a hard line against leaving any of President Obama’s political appointees in place as he prepares to take office on Jan. 20 with a mission of dismantling many of his predecessor’s signature foreign and domestic policy achievements. “Political” ambassadors, many of them major donors who are nominated by virtue of close ties with the president, almost always leave at the end of his term; ambassadors who are career diplomats often remain in their posts.
Given, this will turn the lives of these diplomats upside down as many counted on staying where their children were until the end of the school term. Also, many assumed a grace period, so they could take their time packing their things and getting their affairs in order. They should not be surprised by Trump’s move and should have anticipated it. Liberals are crying foul and using children as human shields again. I don’t think they are going to get much sympathy.
“When you have people out there whose only reason for being an ambassador is their political connection to the outgoing president of a different party, it’s pretty logical to say they should leave,” said Mr. Neumann, a career Foreign Service officer who held ambassadorships in Algeria, Bahrain and Afghanistan. “But I don’t recollect there was ever a guillotine in January where it was just, ‘Everybody out of the pool immediately.’”
Trump is shaking up every aspect of the government it would seem and these people just got a rude wake-up call. Opponents are saying this will signal an abrupt change in US policy internationally. Good. The State Department informed all politically appointed ambassadors in a letter the day after the election that they were to submit letters of resignation effective Jan. 20th. It instructed those who wanted to seek extensions to submit formal requests explaining their justifications. And I would bet none of those so-called justifications will be approved. There is a new sheriff in town and he’s coming in taking names and kicking butt. Diplomats just got the memo in the form of a pink slip.
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