On the subject of Shirley Temple

I see that, among other things, she was Ambassador to Czechoslovakia. 1989 to 1992.

Erm, all the way through the whole Velvet Revolution thing. And she was appointed to that as a “political” ambassador, not a diplomatic service one. The Americans do this: ambassadors are often chosen from those who support the party of the President, handed out as baubles in fact to campaign sponsors. It tends to be the less important posts, true.

The thing is, I wonder how well she did? Anyone know?

3 comments on “On the subject of Shirley Temple

  1. Not really, but the friendly attitude of Czechs and Slovaks in 1991 to anglophones suggests that suggests that she can’t have been too bad. Of course, Margaret Thatcher was a heroine to Eastern Europeans (and even Siberians) but since I had, on more than one occasion, to point out that the Yanks who had rushed in selling their third-class analysis were wrong I am fairly confident that the Czechs welcomed Americans as well as British and were less than critical of their work.
    Now that you mention it I can vaguely remember her appointment: it was widely welcomed for two reasons – she improved the image of the USA compared to, say, Nixon or Joe Kennedy and she had nothing to make out of it unlike most political appointees who sought to further their business careers (her’s having finished before I was born).

  2. We have done it too. Peter Jay – PM Jim Callghan’s son-in-law – was our ambassador in Washington until Maggie got in. I think he was something of an exception though. Most of the others in recent times seem to be career diplomats.

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