|Deerfield, or the Chief Secretary's Lodge, in Phoenix Park, Dublin, is the residence of the American Ambassador to Ireland.|
No ambassador to Ireland chosen is raising questions among Irish Americans - Failure to fill post six months after election seen as strange
Almost six months after being re-elected president, Barack Obama has still not named an Ambassador to Ireland.
The job winner was usually announced on St. Patrick’s Day, but this year the green season has come and gone and no ambassador named while lots of other envoy posts have been filled.
The folks who make the recommendations within the White House are Counsellor to the President Pete Rouse; Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser; the deputy chief of staff, Alyssa Mastromonaco; Brian McKeon, a national security staff member; and Obama’s personnel director, Nancy Hogan.
It is believed that a prominent candidate, a former politician, had to drop out of the race after failing a background check. The person in question was widely considered to be a front-runner.
The one name consistently in the frame is Mark Tuohey the prominent Washington lawyer but it is believed several others are also contenders.
Clearly the process has been delayed. Dan Rooney, Obama’s first ambassador, was appointed in time for St. Patrick’s Day after Obama was elected.
Unlike other positions such as Ambassador to Britain where there is a clear front runner, insiders in Washington profess themselves baffled as to who the Irish choice will be.
It is likely there will be an appointment in May, in time for the all important G8 summit in Northern Ireland where there is still talk of Obama heading south afterwards and the Kennedy clan gathering in Ireland for The Gathering around July 4th.
Ironically, Caroline Kennedy, who looks certain to be ambassador to Japan, is still expected at the Irish gig.