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Tweet of Approval: Bush-Era Public Diplomat Likes Obama Nominee

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, April 28 2009

Google Image Result for people learned about the internal wranglings over diplomatic nominations in the dark and dank pre-Twitter era, well, beats me. You picked up a phone and questioned sources or something? Dunno. But, thankfully, we have the Twitter, and the Twitter tells us that one Bush-era diplomat most closely associated with State's new media efforts has expressed (reserved) approval for a criticized member of Hillary Clinton's new flotilla of diplomats. Colleen Graffy was the Deputy Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy, and was perhaps best known to many of us as being a freewheeling Twitterer. Graffy earned the mocking of the Washington Post's arbiter of good Washington behavior, Al Kamen, for tweeting about her sartorial dilemmas while packing for a diplomatic jaunt to Iceland and other open musings. Graffy left State during the Obama transition, as did her boss, James Glassman. Nominated to replace Glassman is a Clinton ally and fundraiser by the name of Judith McHale. There have been some grumblings amongst public diplomacy advocates that McHale -- a marketer and corporate executive by background -- was the wrong fit for a job that, under Glassman at least, engaging laterally with the global community and doing it on occasion through new media like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Graffy, though, is offering up a tentative seal of approval on McHale's nomination to succeed her old boss. "Very good meeting w U/S Designate Judith McHale to talk re Public Diplomacy at the State Dept," she tweeted. "She might be exactly who we need 4 that job."

(Photograph of Colleen Graffy courtesy of the State Department)