Obama nominates top donors as ambassadors to Iceland, New Zealand

President Obama on Tuesday night nominated two top fundraisers from his reelection campaign to top diplomatic posts in Iceland and New Zealand. 

The White House announced Robert Barber’s nomination as the ambassador to the Republic of Iceland, while Obama picked Mark Gilbert to be ambassador to New Zealand. 

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Each man bundled more than $1 million for President Obama’s reelection campaign. And they have raised more than $6 million combined for the president since 2007. 

Presidents of both parties have long rewarded top campaign donors with diplomatic posts, and Obama has already nominated more than 20 people to such positions this year. 

Barber, an attorney from Massachusetts, served on the Obama for America Finance Committee during both presidential elections. He bundled $1.68 million for the president during the 2012 election and a total of nearly $3 million since 2007. 

Mark Gilbert has served as the Democratic National Committee’s national finance chairman since 2009. He bundled $1.2 million for Obama’s reelection and has brought in $3.3 million since 2007. 

Some career diplomats decry the norm of dolling out top ambassadorships to campaign donors. Proponents of the practice say most political nominees are highly successful individuals who make great ambassadors. 

The bundling figures were provided by The New York Times' fundraiser tracker.