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Former Sen. Jeff Flake, President Biden's nominee to be ambassador to Turkey. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden's latest ambassadorial picks reveal his strategy when it comes to the diplomacy of diplomacy: He's blending career servants with political supporters to avoid raising the ire of State Department professionals while filling posts around the world.

Why it matters: The U.S. diplomatic corps remains shaken from cuts to its ranks by Rex Tillerson, former President Trump's first secretary of State.

  • Successor Mike Pompeo vowed to help the State Department regain its "swagger," but many members of the Foreign Service still felt disrespected by the past administration.
  • Biden, whose ties to the State Department span decades on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and his past role as vice president, has sought a different relationship with Foggy Bottom.

Driving the news: Biden on Tuesday packaged his announcement of former Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake for ambassador to Turkey with the nomination of Kent Logsdon — previously a deputy chief of mission in Berlin and trip planner for former Secretary of State John Kerry — for ambassador to Moldova.

  • Flake was a Biden colleague in the Senate, but as a Republican he allows the president to exhibit some bipartisanship in his diplomatic assignments.
  • Turkey's no vanity posting. It's a complicated NATO ally straddling Europe and Asia, and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan requires careful handling.

Between the lines: On the same day, the White House sent the Senate a previously announced slate of nominees to begin their confirmation process — with names that also ping-ponged between the career and political camps.

  • Julieta Valls Noyes, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, as assistant secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration.
  • Massachusetts State Rep. Claire Cronin, a Biden fundraiser, as ambassador to Ireland.
  • Bathsheba Nell Crocker, a longtime diplomat and daughter of Chester Crocker, an Africa specialist under former Secretary of State George Shultz, as U.S. representative to the UN offices in Geneva.
  • Denise Campbell Bauer, another campaign fundraiser and former ambassador to Belgium, to return as ambassador to France and Monaco.

Don't forget: Biden's Secretary of State Tony Blinken and UN Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield also are two well-known representatives from inside the State Department ranks.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct the name of Bathsheba Crocker’s father. Axios politics editor Glen Johnson served as a senior communications aide to Secretary of State John Kerry and is author of "Window Seat on the World."

Go deeper

First look: Trump Republican comes to Rahm's defense

Sen. Bill Hagerty. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

One of Donald Trump's staunchest allies, Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), will speak out publicly Wednesday in support of one of President Biden's targeted ambassadorial nominees — former Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Why it matters: Progressive activists are pressuring liberal senators to oppose Emanuel's confirmation as U.S. ambassador to Japan. Support from key Republicans may end up ensuring the Democrat gets the job.

Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults

A vaccination center installed at the Barbara Chapel of St Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, Austria. Photo: Alex Halada/AFP via Getty Images

Austria's lower house of parliament voted on Thursday in favor of making COVID-19 vaccinations compulsory for most adults from next month.

Why it matters: The bill is expected to soon pass the upper house and be signed by President Alexander Van der Bellen in order for the law to take effect Feb. 1, per Reuters. It'd make Austria the first EU nation to impose such a sweeping mandate.

Hope King, author of Closer
Updated 5 hours ago - Economy & Business

Peloton pumps its brakes

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Peloton’s popularity is falling as swiftly as it shot up.

Why it matters: Not all pandemic habits stick around. Peloton's trajectory over the past two years exemplifies how challenging it's been for companies to gauge shifts in consumer demand — particularly in sectors heavily altered by the pandemic.