How much is the ambassadorship to France worth? If Friday's nomination of Obama mega-bundler Jane Hartley is any indication, the answer is $520,000.
Hartley is Chief Executive Officer of Observatory Group, LLC, a political and economic advisory group. She last worked in government four decades ago in the Carter White House, as a senior assistant in the Office of Public Liaison and then as director of congressional relations for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
If confirmed by Congress, Hartley will replace Ambassador Charles H. Rivkin, who bundled more than $500,000 for the 2008 Obama effort.
Speculation was rife over who would be selected for the French ambassadorship after the frontrunner, Marc Lasry ($856,606 bundled), dropped out last year. It emerged that Lasry had participated in an underground gambling ring run by the Russian mob.
Hartley, CEO of Observatory Group, an international economic and political advisory firm she founded in 2007, appears to have more international experience than other Obama bundlers recently nominated to diplomatic posts who have generated controversy.
Other contenders for the position included IBM heiress-philanthropist Jane Stetson ($1,017,666 bundled) and Jane Harman, a former long-time Democratic representative from California who now leads the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Harman, notably, is not a bundler. That can't have helped her chances.