Producer Colleen Bell Confirmed as U.S. Ambassador to Hungary

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Colleen Bell

The Senate voted 52-42 to confirm 'The Bold and the Beautiful' producer after Sen. Barbara Boxer argued that senators shouldn't belittle Bell because of her work on a popular TV show

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday confirmed The Bold and The Beautiful producer Colleen Bell to serve as ambassador to Hungary, despite Sen. John McCain's efforts to scuttle her nomination.

"We're about to vote on a totally unqualified individual to be ambassador to a nation which is very important to our national security interest," McCain complained on the Senate floor. "Her qualifications are as a producer of the television soap opera The Bold and The Beautiful, contributed $800,000 to Obama in the last election and bundled more than $2.1 million for President Obama's reelection effort."

He continued: "I am not against political appointees. … I understand how the game is played, but here we are, a nation (Hungary) that is on the verge of ceding its sovereignty to a neo-fascist dictator getting in bed with Vladimir Putin, and we're going to send the producer of The Bold and The Beautiful as the ambassador. I urge my colleagues to put a stop to this foolishness. I urge a no vote."

Sen. Barbara Boxer, however, came to Bell's defense, promoting a 52-42 vote for her confirmation.

"You would think this is the first time that any president nominated someone that's a political appointee," Boxer said on the Senate floor. "Just because somebody is a producer of a very popular show, that doesn't disqualify them. It's ridiculous."

Boxer told McCain: "I could point out people you supported, senator, who perhaps didn't work at all, so let's be clear here. She's an intelligent woman. She knows how to be successful. She'll do a good job, and she'll do very well I think in this position, because I know her well, and she knows how to make friends, and she's not angry."

The Senate also voted to confirm Los Angeles political consultant Noah Mamet, who was also criticized by Republicans for being unqualified, to be the next ambassador to Argentina.