When George W. Bush took office, 1,700 of his campaign contributors reportedly lined up for nominations as ambassadors. Bush has since awarded diplomatic posts to 24 Pioneers and Rangers-- supporters who have helped his 2000 and 2004 campaigns by bundling contributions of at least $100,000 or $200,000, respectively. (Five of them, like Bush, happen to have been baseball team owners. See "Bush’s Baseball Ambassadors", July/August 2004)

A 1980 federal law requires that campaign contributions "should not be a factor" in naming ambassadors. It also specifies that nominees should be able to speak the local language. By this standard, the credentials of Bush’s donors-turned-diplomats are particularly sparse. For instance, consider that our man in France -- a country we’ve had our share of diplomatic tussles with lately -- doesn’t speak French. Now, more of George W. Bush’s world-class ambassadors. -- Benjamin Leslie


Mauritius. 2002 - present.

$573,555

Skipped Mauritius' presidential inauguration, prompting the country's largest paper to call for his resignation. Also recently fined $8.1 million by Utah Supreme Court for cheating his business partners.


Ireland. 2001 - 2002.

$489,600

Made a soft money contribution of $250,000 to the GOP in the summer of 2000, and was soon on his way to Dublin.

$376,859

The billionaire former CEO of Lynch Capital didn't speak any French when he was posted to Paris. He reportedly has been taking lessons, though.


Netherlands. 2001 - present.

$295,700

Dutch-deficient Ambassador Sobel says he loves the Netherlands because "everybody speaks English."


Portugal. 2001 - present.

$185,650

Big supporter of Bush 41. Speaks no Portuguese.


Norway. 2001 - present.

$181,085

Fined $15,000 by the Federal Election Commission for illegal fundraising in 1997 and 1999. Doesn't speak Norwegian.


Jamaica. 2001 - present.

$164,750

Married to Charles Cobb, who was appointed ambassador to Iceland after donating over $100,000 to George Bush Sr.


Austria. 2001 - present.

$133,700

The former CEO of Brown-Forman, the maker of Jack Daniels and Southern Comfort, does speak German. Prost!


Hungary. 2001 - 2003.

$125,990

Prior to posting, this Dallas socialite had no Eastern European experience.


Slovak Republic. 2001 - present.

$40,250

Was the 2000 Bush campaign's Michigan finance chair. Doesn't speak Slovakian.


Uruguay. 2001 - present.

$38,325

Buddies with homeland security chief Tom Ridge. Self-described as "professionally competent" in Spanish.


Malta. 2001 - present.

$37,411

AKA "The Pasta Magnate." Fortunately, Malta is English-speaking.


Belize. 2001 - present.

$3,750

This North Dakota lawyer's brother was a major investor in Bush's business dealings. Speaks Belize's official language -- English.


Saudi Arabia. 2001 - 2003.

$2,650

Represented Bush during SEC inquiries into possible insider trading in 1990. Also a law partner of Bush family consigliere and House of Saud pal James Baker.