Will Anna Wintour exit her post as editor in chief of Vogue to take on an ambassador role in either the U.K. or France? President Obama is considering nominating her for one of the two positions, according to a report today from Bloomberg.
We’ve heard this rumor before, but this time we’re willing to give it a little more weight, given both the source and the timing, as Obama is set to plan and reorganize his party over the next few weeks leading up to January’s inauguration. According to the report, Obama is looking “to reward his biggest fundraisers with embassies never out of fashion,” and Wintour certainly fits the bill as one of the President’s top bundlers, having raised more than $500,000 and hosted major, star-studded fundraisers at the homes of Sarah Jessica Parker and Harvey Weinstein during reelection season. Her competition may be Matthew Barzun, the finance chairman of Obama’s presidential campaign, who is reportedly also interested in the U.K. post, and Marc Lasry, founding and managing partner of Avenue Capital Management, who has his sights set on the Paris embassy.
There will, however, be a few spots open come the new year:
The current U.S. envoy to the U.K., Louis Susman, was a Chicago-based investment banker and bundler for Obama’s campaign in 2008 before becoming ambassador. Like Obama’s other political ambassadorial appointees — Pittsburgh Steelers football team owner Dan Rooney, who is serving in Ireland, and Charles Rivkin, the former chief executive of Muppets creator Jim Henson Co. — who is posted in France, Susman isn’t expected to stay for a second term, the people said.
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.
As for Vogue, a spokesperson contended that the editor has no intention of leaving the magazine and is “very happy with her current job.”