Commentary: LeMieux must unblock Brazil ambassador nomination

When George LeMieux was appointed three months ago to replace retiring U.S. Senator Mel Martinez, the 40-year-old former chief of staff to Gov. Charlie Crist vowed to focus on making government more efficient and effective. He has a strange way of going about it.

In his first foray into foreign affairs, Sen. LeMieux has placed a "hold" on the nomination of President Obama's choice to become ambassador to Brazil, putting a freeze on the Senate confirmation process. This ensures that U.S. relations with the largest country in Latin America are neither efficient nor effective.

Tom Shannon is a long-time, career Foreign Service officer who has served with distinction in Venezuela, Brazil, Guatemala and as the White House's chief advisor on Latin American affairs.

His latest job was assistant secretary of state for the Western Hemisphere. His nomination for the Brazil job won approval by a substantial bipartisan majority in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

In short, Mr. Shannon has the experience and qualifications for this important post. His nomination would undoubtedly win Senate approval in a floor vote because there is no serious case to be made against it.

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