Presidential contender Elizabeth Warren on Friday called on all candidates to “end the corrupt practice of selling cushy diplomatic posts to wealthy donors,” a key tenet in her plan to rebuild the U.S. diplomatic corps.
Although past presidents have long rewarded top donors with plum jobs, the Massachusetts senator contended President Trump has appointed political cronies to nearly half of all available ambassador positions — “far more than any president in recent memory.”
“The practice of auctioning off American diplomacy to the highest bidder must end,” Warren said in a post on the website Medium. “I won’t give ambassadorial posts to wealthy donors or bundlers — period.” She said she would only hire the most qualified people for the job.
As part of her plan to rebuild the State Department, Warren said she would devote more resources to recruiting, training and expanding the diplomatic corp to increase U.S. outreach around the world.
“Today our State Department is too small,” wrote Warren, pointing out that China has sharply swelled the size of its diplomatic ranks to broaden its global influence.
She said she would also strive to make the department more diverse, noting that 79% of diplomats are white and 65% male.
Warren also blasted the Trump administration for favoring the military over the State Department and said U.S. foreign policy should not be run out of the Pentagon.
“The Pentagon is nearly 40 times bigger than the State Department — we employ more people to work in military grocery stores than we do foreign service officers,” Warren said. “That has real consequences. Too often, our underinvestment in diplomacy and development causes our leaders to default to military action, instead of treating it as a last resort.”