In the wake of several big ambassadorships doled out by Obama on Wednesday, David Rothkopf asks why we need ambassadors in the first place:

Of course, if your impulse is to answer the question by saying, "sure we do. If we didn't have ambassadors where would we send all the campaign donors and political hangers-on for whom we couldn't find plum jobs in Washington?" then you not only understand Washington but you understand where I think Obama went wrong yesterday and why my question about the need for ambassadors is genuinely open to question.

Chris Beam takes a closer look at the long tradition of picking rich pals over career diplomats.

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