President Obama has named Caroline Kennedy as Ambassador to Japan.
You might recall a few years back that Kennedy contemplated running for the U.S. Senate seat in New York that was vacated by Hillary Clinton. Indeed, her ill-fated near candidacy was the subject of my very first article for The American Spectator.
While Kennedy is a high profile name I don’t know she is any more qualified to represent us in Tokyo than in D.C.
So who should have Obama appointed instead? I would have suggested Randy Bass. Currently, Bass is a Democratic State Senator from Oklahoma, a position he has held since 2004. But a generation ago, Bass became the most successful foreign born player in the history of Japanese baseball. After a non-descript MLB career, Bass joined the Hanshin Tigers and in 1985 fell one homerun short of Saduharu Oh’s single season record for homeruns with 55. The following year, Bass recorded the highest batting average in the history of Japanese baseball when he hit .389. Even Ichiro Suzuki couldn’t match that number. In all, he won four consecutive batting titles and is the only player in the history of Japanese baseball to win back to back Triple Crowns.
Affectionately known as Basu, Bass would have been a popular appointment with the Japanese. Few Americans understand Japanese culture better than Bass. Alas, Bass’ Democratic credentials aren’t those of Caroline Kennedy.