Obama Considering Vogue Editor Anna Wintour For UK Or France Ambassadorship, Report Says

Obama Considering Anna Wintour For UK Or France Ambassadorship

According to a Bloomberg report published on Tuesday morning, President Obama is considering Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour for his next ambassador to the United Kingdom or France. Citing “two people familiar with the matter,” the report notes the president is looking “to reward his biggest fundraisers.”

Matthew Barzun, finance chairman of Obama’s presidential campaign, is also reportedly interested in the UK ambassador job. He, too, was among Obama’s biggest bundlers during the last campaign: Both Barzun and Wintour raised more than $500,000 each. “Marc Lasry, the managing partner and founder of Avenue Capital Management, also wants the Paris embassy,” according to Bloomberg.

Megan Salt, a spokeswoman for Vogue, said Wintour — a UK-born US citizen — isn’t interested. “She’s very happy with her current job,” Salt said.

The report goes on to note that rewarding top donors with diplomatic positions is hardly unprecedented:

Rewarding donors with ambassadorships is a staple of the presidency, and Obama’s picks are slightly above the 30 percent average for envoys drawn from outside the career foreign service, said Susan Johnson, the president of the American Foreign Service Association. In his first term, Obama nominated 59 ambassadors, including 40 bundlers, who lacked experience in the diplomatic corps.
“When he ran for election in 2008, on several occasions, Obama declared his intent to appoint more career people, and that has not actually happened,” said Johnson. “Our expectations were lifted, only to be dashed by reality.”
Wintour is “clearly an intelligent, energetic, capable, attractive, elegant person,” Johnson said, “but having experience in the practice of diplomacy and international relations is really a great advantage.”

Read the full report over at Bloomberg.

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