‘Ashton can only be a positive surprise’

Nobody else seems much cheerier about Ashton than I am.
deep embarrassment…permeates the senior ranks of Gordon Brown’s ministerial team this morning…..”Shaming and dreadful” is how one prominent colleague privately put it
— Michael White in the [Guardian](http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/blog/2009/nov/20/von-rompuy-ashton-eu-michael-white)
She has little experience and is a bizarre choice. It would be a sign that European diplomacy is downgraded to an economic policy post.
— French official quoted in the [Telegraph](http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/6609229/Herman-Van-Rompuy-and-Baroness-Ashton-land-top-EU-jobs.html)
On the day of her election, the best that could be said of her was that she is a good listener”. “expectations are so low that Van Rompuy and Ashton can only be a positive surprise
—[Spiegel](http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,662357,00.html)
More justified grumbling elsewhere:
* [Crooked Timber](http://crookedtimber.org/2009/11/19/whether-or-not-it-is-good-for-europe-it-is-very-bad-for-belgium/#comments)
* [A Fistful of Euros](http://fistfulofeuros.net/afoe/the-european-union/eu-lisbon-jobs-open-thread/)
* [European Tribune](http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2009/11/19/13254/148)

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