President Trump on Wednesday sent the Senate his nomination of Ken Weinstein to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to Japan.
There were a lot of other things going on this past week, so I actually missed this news until I read it today in the Jewish Press of Brooklyn, where it appeared at the top of page 23 under the memorable headline, "Trump To Nominate Former Jewish School President As Ambassador To Japan."
What a terrific nomination. I've known Weinstein since the mid-1990s. He's bright, loyal, an independent thinker, a mensch, and a patriotic American with one of the quickest wits in Washington. He bravely endured attacks from those who thought it "appalling" that the Hudson Institute, a think tank of which he is CEO, might invite to speak representatives from the Trump administration.
The temptation of the Senate will be to focus on coronavirus response rather than confirming nominees. But having an ambassador in place in Tokyo will help the coronavirus response. The Trump administration hasn't had a permanent ambassador to Japan since July 22, 2019. The Summer Olympics in Tokyo are scheduled to begin July 24, 2020. Japan is the world's third largest national economy and will be important in shaping an economic response to assure a quick recovery from the virus-related downturn.
Weinstein is precisely the sort of person America needs representing our interests overseas. His selection reflects well on the president and on our country. He deserves speedy consideration and rapid confirmation.