“It doesn’t add up though we have been surprised by his lackluster performance as Kenya’s envoy to say the least. He has been behaving as if corruption has been eradicated in Kenya and the implementation of the constitution is not under any threat,” said Lister Nyaringo of New Jersey who plans to contest the Bobasi parliamentary seat.
It is said that when Obama entered office, Gration had his choice of high-level positions and, reportedly, the commander-in-chief’s ear. Rumors placed Gration’s aspirations high in a second-term Obama administration as an Undersecretary for African Affairs. ?
Gration, the son of missionaries, spent much of his childhood in Kenya and speaks fluent Swahili. He joined the Air Force in 1974, where he became an F-16 fighter pilot instructor before retiring in 2006.
That year, he traveled Africa extensively with a senator, Barack Obama, who so awed Gration that the longtime Republican became a Democrat.
Writing for The New Yorker in 2008, Nicholas Lemann called Gration “The most mystical believer in Obamaism whom I met.”
He was also known to compare the senator to Nelson Mandela. Gration endorsed Obama. He was one of the campaigns earliest, most high profile foreign policy ‘gets’ and became a national security adviser to his 2008 presidential campaign, as well as one of its most enthusiastic surrogates. After the election, speculation saw Gration in a number of impressive roles, like head of NASA.
In March of 2009, Obama named him Special Envoy to Sudan. ?Gration’s appointment was greeted with widespread optimism that Obama was getting tough on Sudan. But in that role, Gration was regarded by many to have brought an incredibly naïve approach to negotiations.
Of the genocidal regime operating out of Khartoum, he infamously told the Washington Post, “We've got to think about giving out cookies. Kids, countries-they react to gold stars, smiley faces, handshakes, agreements, talk, engagement.”
Obama nominated Gration as ambassador to Kenya in February 2011, ending his tenure as special envoy. ?Many people agree that Gration’s transition to Kenya was stormy at the very least. After his arrival there, the Nairobi Embassy became the subject of an investigation by the Office of the Inspector General for the US State Department.
A scathing OIG report is due out later this summer. Individuals familiar with the report called it "catastrophic," a "toxic" assessment of Gration's leadership. ?
Over the objections of State Department officials, Gration insisted on doing business on his personal laptop and through his Gmail account, according to the former officer. This put classified information about the U.S.’s operations in East Africa at a higher risk for exposure.
This was considered a security risk because it was susceptible to hacking into like what happened in June 2011, when hackers in China broke into numerous Gmail accounts belonging to senior US officials.