City Desk

Did Obama Confuse Switzerland and Sweden? Don Beyer Named Ambassador to Wrong Country!

Don Beyer has been announced as the new U.S. ambassador to Switzerland.

Gotta be a mistake.

What happened to Sweden?

Beyer's a sainted figure in my native Falls Church, and I'd heard a couple months ago from townies that Beyer was in fact going to get the Ambassador to Sweden job.

That made total sense. And not just because Beyer was a huge Obama fundraiser.

Beyer's also Mr. Volvo! He's been Falls Church's ambassador to Sweden forever through the work at his dealership! He's beloved by Swedish commerce types, and even sponsors U.S./Sweden chamber of commerce golf tournaments! He's helped Sweden enjoy a fabulous trade imbalance with the U.S. for decades! "Beyer" might as well have umlauts over the E's, the guy's so perfect for the job.

So I called up Beyer's office to confirm. Folks there denied, denied, denied there was any chance of him getting that job or any other job from the administration. Then after I posted what I'd hoped was a jokey refutation of the ambassador rumors on City Desk, Beyers staff called me and acted as if I'd mucked everything up and committed some sort of journalistic war crime just by putting such stuff in print. Their over-reaction was as bizarre as any I'd ever gotten from a story.

And now it comes out that Beyer will indeed be an ambassador. Only to Switzerland.

What's he ever done for Switzerland?

Again: Gotta be a mistake.

An understandable one, from my perspective. I always get the two confused. And I think everybody does. Quick now:

Roger Federer: Swiss or Swede?


I'm not happy about this. I wanted Swedish Ambassador Beyer to bring The Soundtrack of Our Lives back with him during a visit to Falls Church. Now we'll have to settle for Abba! (What? They're Swedes too? SEE?)

Oh, well. I still love Don Beyer. Obama couldn't have picked a better man for the job.

Even if it is the wrong job.

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  • Simon

    gets harder in Spanish: one country is Suiza, the other is Suecia. Guess which is which.

  • Dave McKenna

    you're with me Simon! OBAMA GAVE DON BEYER THE WRONG JOB! and i've got no guess to your quiz. i learned all my spanish in falls church.

  • Mike Licht

    Maybe Don Beyer wants to open a SwatchCar dealership.

  • Janice

    maybe the Swiss have a boat load of vehicles to pass on to the U.S. and Don Beyers is the man to get them shipped, but then again, maybe we can get him to ship the GM and Pontiacs that will become wasteful scrape in a few months.

  • Urs Gehriger

    Dear Dave, I am reporter with the swiss weekly die Weltwoche. Great to read your story. Could you suggest some people I could get in touch with who could explain a bit who Don Beyer is? We are curious here in Switzerland who your future ambassador is. We would like to do a story on him and need to talk to some people who know him.

    Thanks for your help.

    Kind regards Urs

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