Biden Taps L.A. Mayor Garcetti, Donor Bauer for Ambassador Posts

President Joe Biden has chosen Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti as his nominee for ambassador to India, the White House said Friday, potentially giving the embattled politician a key role in a country overwhelmed by Covid-19.

The White House statement praised Garcetti’s role overseeing “the busiest container port in the Western Hemisphere, the largest municipal utility in the country, and one of the busiest airports in the world,” as well as his role in Los Angeles’s winning bid for the 2028 Olympic Games.

Garcetti, 50, gave an early endorsement to Biden as the Democratic nominee in January 2020 and has toyed with the idea of running for president himself. He was first elected as mayor in 2013 and before that served as City Council president.

Garcetti has been under pressure for months amid an investigation of sexual harassment accusations against a close former adviser, an inquiry that may have knocked him out of the running for a role in Biden’s cabinet.

The White House also announced that Biden has selected Denise Campbell Bauer to be ambassador to France and the Principality of Monaco. Peter D. Haas is Biden’s pick for ambassador to Bangladesh, while Bernadette Meehan is his choice for envoy to Chile.

Bauer is a major Democratic fundraiser who was one of the California Bay Area’s top bundlers for Biden’s 2020 campaign. She was ambassador to Belgium from 2013 to 2017 after raising millions for Barack Obama’s campaigns.

All four Biden picks must have their nominations officially sent to the Senate for confirmation, a process that could take months.

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