Nov 17 2008
ABC News’ Political Radar reports:
Baseball star Ken Griffey, Jr. is known for his smooth swing of the bat, but the US government is hoping that will translate into smooth diplomacy.
On Tuesday Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will officially name Griffey as America’s next Public Diplomacy envoy. In that role he will travel the world trying to improve the United States’ image abroad.
This is of particular personal interest to me not only because the U.S. government’s official public diplomacy efforts play an important role in the work we do in international education, exchange, and development, but also because Junior grew up just a few minutes from where I grew up in Cincinnati and played for our hometown team, the Cincinnati Reds, for nine years until he was traded to the Chicago White Sox this past July. Even though he’s led a hall of fame career, Griffey was plagued by injuries during much of his career with the Reds. So as my friend and colleague Mark Rebstock pointed out (it was Mark who alerted me to this news item in the first place), let’s hope the Kid can stay healthy as PD Envoy.