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To the donors go the spoils: Obama renominates bundlers to cushy overseas posts

A picture of Colleen Bell.
Soap opera producer Colleen Bell is one of four major campaign donors whom President Obama renominated to cushy ambassadorships. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

(This post was updated at 3:30 p.m. 1/7/2014 to name and background for another nominee.)

As lawmakers return for the second session of the 113th Congress, one of President Barack Obama's first orders of business is trying to convince the Senate to let him repay some political IOUs.

Among a list of nominations the president sent the Senate on Monday are five would-be ambassadors who didn't get a vote before Congress left town for the holidays. All are major underwriters of Democratic candidates and causes and, according to a list compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, bundlers for the Obama campaign.

One notable omission from the sugar-plummy list Obama sent to Capitol Hill may be the biggest plum of all: The president has yet to name a replacement for Charles Rivkin, another big donor who quit his post as ambassador to France in November. The vacancy has not gone unnoticed in Paris, where speculation is centering on a diversity pick: a woman, but a woman donor, such as Jane Hartley or Jane Watson Stetson, whose grandfather founded IBM.