IN RETROSPECT, “you get what you pay for” is an apt slogan for the 2012 presidential election. A $100 donation to Obama’s campaign was repaid with an automated thank-you email. Fifty times that earned a plate at a fundraiser attended by the president himself. Ten times that could result in some presidential face time. Now take the product ($50,000), double it, bundle in an additional half million, and you’ve got yourself an ambassadorship. This is according to Open Secrets blogger Brandon Conradis, who recently explored the giving history of actress Colleen Bradley Bell, the newly nominated Ambassador to Hungary.
But Bell isn’t the only one with star power reaping rewards for political fidelity. Conradis names three other Tinseltown denizens remunerated with ambassadorships: James Costos (Spain), Charles Rivkin (France), and Nicole Avant (the Bahamas). “You get what you pay for,” indeed—such words could be scrawled on the White House gates. Better yet, there’s a phrase more familiar to our history: “To the victor belong the spoils.”