Washington state GOP leader Hutchison is a possible candidate for Ambassador to Hungary

In February, the Hungarian Lobby, an on-line Hungarian American group run by Béla Lipták published a letter from 33-year-old Allison Pataki, the daughter of ex-Governor George Pataki. Lipták thought that Allison could make a viable candidate to serve as Trump’s future Ambassador to Hungary.

Allison responded that she was „honored and humbled. Unfortunately at this time in my life with my career and my family it is not an opportunity I would be able to pursue, but I would humbly suggest you consider my father, Governor George Pataki. He is the proud child of Hungarian immigrants and an even prouder Hungarian-American who has done wonderful things for both his new country and the land of his family origins.”

In the past, George Pataki was popular among pro-Orbán Hungarian Americans. All this has changed this spring when Pataki openly sided with his friend George Soros in the issue of the Central European University (CEU). Pataki also expressed strong anti-Trump sentiments during the election campaign. (Read more about Pataki’s stand on CEU here.)

Republican Hungarian Americans started to look for another candidate and floated the name of Susan Hutchison, the head of the Washington State Republican Party. Hutchison also said that she was being considered for a job working for then President-elect Donald Trump. “I wouldn’t even venture to say what category it would fall in,” Hutchison said of her potential role, noting that the incoming president was still grappling with high-level appointments, such as who would be secretary of State. “I had some interesting conversations,” she said, while declining to name who was involved. (Read more here.)

Susan Hutchison at the Hungarian embassy in Washington DC

Hutchison is 63 years old and has spent much of her career as a TV news anchor in Seattle. She was born in California, is married with two grown sons and has no Hungarian ancestry; nor does she speak Hungarian. She contacted Hungarian American organizations via her wealthy Hungarian-born friends such as Microsoft billionaire, Charles Simonyi.

Simonyi was born in Budapest and is considered the “father” of Excel, Microsoft’s popular spreadsheet. Hutchison served as the Executive Director of the Charles and Lisa Simonyi Fund for Arts and Sciences, a Seattle-based philanthropic foundation that has provided over $100 million in grants to arts, science, and educational programs. Simonyi has supported generously the Seattle Symphony, the Seattle Art Museum and the Seattle’s Museum of Flight.

When the audiotapes of Trump talking about groping women surfaced, Hutchison explained that Trump was a Democrat when he made the remarks. The former spokesman for the Washington State Republican Party said Hutchison was “an embarrassment” and a conservative talk-radio host called on her to resign. Washington State supported Hillary Clinton in the last election and in the Seattle area Trump received only 8-percent of the vote.

Hutchison is an early supporter of “The Donald” and has raised money for the Trump campaign. She also developed a close relationship with the Hungarian American Coalition and attends on their annual Mikulás Dinner.

Hutchison (in the middle) with GOP lobbyist Ari Fleischer (left) and Senior Advisor to Viktor Orbán, Mr. Jenő Megyesy.

Her close ties to Orbán operatives in the US could pose a problem for her in a potential congressional confirmation. We don’t know much about her views about Prime Minister Orbán and his pro-Putin and Pro-Iranian policies, but I have no doubts that Hutchison would faithfully execute Trump’s directives if confirmed. The question is: Will the White House nominate her to the Ambassador’s post?

György Lázár

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