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Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger at a Joe Biden rally in February 2020. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger's nomination to be a U.S. ambassador completes his metamorphosis from national icon to political figure.

Why it matters: After saving all 155 passengers and crew in the 2009 "Miracle on the Hudson" plane crash, Sullenberger became a sort of Anthony Fauci of aviation: a trusted public figure with international name recognition.

  • President Biden's nomination of Sullenberger as the U.S. representative to the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization risks drawing some of the same slings and arrows that have befallen his coronavirus counterpart.

Driving the news: Sully's name stood out in a list of career and political ambassadors President Biden unveiled ahead of tomorrow's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

  • If confirmed by the Senate, the 70-year-old retired U.S. Airways captain will represent the nation in international aviation matters at ICAO's headquarters in Montreal.

What they're saying: "As an Air Line Pilots Association accident investigation committee member, (Sullenberger) participated in a National Transportation Safety Board investigation of a major airline accident, leading to improved airline procedures and training for emergency evacuation," the White House said in the nomination statement.

Don't forget: Sullenberger made several campaign appearances for Biden in 2020 and cut an ad for the anti-Trump Lincoln Project weeks before the general election.

  • The Air Force veteran said in the ad: "I knew that serving a cause greater than oneself is the highest calling. And it’s in that highest calling of leadership that Donald Trump has failed us so miserably."
  • Before aligning with Democrats during Trump's presidency, Sullenberger had spent most of his life as a Republican. The GOP had even sought unsuccessfully to recruit him to run for Congress.
  • During the 2018 midterms, he wrote in a Washington Post opinion piece, "I have always voted as an American. And this critical Election Day, I will do so by voting for leaders committed to rebuilding our common values and not pandering to our basest impulses."

Go deeper

Jun 15, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden names first political ambassadors, including for Israel and Mexico

FABRICE COFFRINI / Getty Images

President Biden announced his first slate of political ambassadors Tuesday, naming five political allies and donors, as well as four career foreign service officers.

Why it matters: Biden’s announcement is the first step in a nomination process that will see several more waves. But it gives an indication he is more comfortable with former and current politicians and Washington insiders than big-dollar donors who typically populate a president’s ambassador list.

Jun 15, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Inside Biden's Putin prep

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Leon Neal (WPA Pool)/Getty Images

President Biden assembled a group of outside Russia experts — including former Trump officials — to brief him for his summit with President Vladimir Putin, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: The previously unreported session demonstrates the extent to which Biden wants to be well prepared, drawing on the experience of officials with first-hand knowledge of the onetime KGB colonel’s tactics and tricks.

Gaming CEO calls on industry to help fight climate change

"Catalyst Black." Screenshot: Super Evil Megacorp

Gaming CEO Kristian Segerstrale is calling on leaders in his industry to take action on climate change, after completing a $1.4 million fundraising campaign this summer.

Why it matters: Gaming's pandemic-fueled boom creates an opportunity, and maybe even an obligation, to do some good.

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