The Senate on Tuesday confirmed two nominees from President Obama for ambassadorships, over strong objections that the high-dollar fundraisers for the president’s 2012 re-election were unqualified for the job.
Noah Mamet, a Democratic political consultant and fundraiser, and Colleen Bell, a former producer for the TV soap opera “The Bold and the Beautiful,” were approved despite struggling through confirmation hearings earlier this year.
Mamet was confirmed as ambassador to Argentina by a vote of 50-43. Bell was confirmed as ambassador to Hungary by a vote of 52-42.
Mamet was confirmed despite not speaking Spanish and acknowledging during his confirmation hearing that he has never been to Argentina.
Before the vote, Arizona GOP Sen. John McCain objected to both nominations, arguing that too many U.S. ambassadors are now political appointees, not career foreign service employees. However, he saved his strongest objection for Bell, whom he called “the most egregious example.”
“Hungary is a very important country where bad things are going on,” McCain said on the Senate floor. “We’re about to vote on a terribly unqualified individual.”
McCain said Bell gave more than $800 million to Obama’s successful 2012 re-election effort and helped “bundle” roughly $2.1 million.
More than 40 percent of Obama’s second-term picks for diplomatic posts have reportedly been political nominees.
Fox News' Kara Rowland contributed to this report.