Tsunis became a Democrat in November 2009 — after giving $50,000 to Republican Sen. John McCain's 2008 campaign.
So it's perhaps fitting that it was the tart-tongued Arizona senator's questions that elicited his sloppy confirmation hearing performance last week (it starts at about 1:14 here).
To recap: Tsunis described Norway as having a president ("apparently under the impression that the country is a republic rather than a constitutional monarchy," as the Local Norway's News notes dryly). And he characterized the anti-immigration Progress Party as being among "fringe elements" who "spew their hatred" and have been denounced by the government.
That prompted McCain's disbelieving answer: "The government has denounced them? The coalition government — they're part of the coalition of the government."
Watch that exchange above. Tsunis looks and sounds... out of his element, for sure. "Well I, you know, I stand corrected," he says. "I stand corrected and would like to leave my answer at they are, um, a very very open society."
At that point, the knife twisted and the blood flowing nicely, McCain sits back and enjoys his kill. "I have no more questions for this incredibly highly qualified group of nominees," he says, with a characteristically McCainian mix of contempt and glee.
Tsunis ain't the first underwhelming politically connected ambassador by far; he may not even be in the top tier of Obama's diplomatic spoils beneficiaries. But he is perhaps distinguished by how much Norwegians hate him already. Good luck, Ambassador Tsunis! Or as they say in Stockholm, the Norwegian capital: ¡Buenos dias!