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Obama nominates campaign donors for jobs as ambassadors

U.S. President Barack Obama gestures at the White House Correspondents Association Dinner in Washington April 27, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarq
U.S. President Barack Obama gestures at the White House Correspondents Association Dinner in Washington April 27, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarq

By Gabriel Debenedetti

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House said on Friday it would nominate six people for U.S. ambassadorships, including three who were closely connected to President Barack Obama's 2012 re-election campaign.

The move follows Obama's nomination of two top fundraisers to high-level administration posts: Penny Pritzker for Commerce Secretary and Tom Wheeler for chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.

U.S. presidents often grant ambassadorships to supporters.

Rufus Gifford, who the White House said will be nominated as U.S. ambassador to Denmark, was finance director for the Obama campaign in 2011 and 2012.

John Emerson, the president of Private Client Services for Capital Group Companies, will be nominated as ambassador to Germany. Emerson was a financial bundler - a donor who also collects money from others - for Obama's re-election campaign

James Costos, an HBO vice president who also was a 2012 Obama bundler, will be nominated as ambassador to Spain.

Liliana Ayalde will be tapped for Brazil, Ken Hackett for the Holy See, and Patricia Marie Haslach for Ethiopia, the White House said.

Ayalde, a former ambassador to Paraguay, and Haslach are career State Department diplomats.

(Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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