resident Barack Obama is considering nominating Vogue editor Anna Wintour to a plum ambassadorship, according to Bloomberg. Sources close to the matter say Wintour, who has dual British and American citizenship, might get the nod to represent the administration in the U.K. or France, as the U.S. ambassadors in both countries have signaled they won't be staying on for Obama's second term. Wintour was one of the biggest donation bundlers for the president's campaign (in mid-September, New York reported that she'd bundled some $2.7 million), and big donors frequently get rewarded with cushy embassy posts in the capitals of our closest allies. But is a fashion-world fixture like Wintour really the right person for the job?
Wintour might be a good fit: "Wintour's credentials as a major fundraiser may well be enough to earn her" an ambassadorship, says Meghan Keneally at Britain's Daily Mail. Remember, the current envoys to the U.K. and France were fundraisers, "not career politicians." Louis Susman, the ambassador to the U.K., was a Chicago-based investment banker, and Charles Rivkin, in France, was CEO of Muppets creator Jim Henson Co. Plus, Wintour's dual citizenship makes her a natural to go to London.
"US ambassador Anna? Vogue's editor-in-chief Wintour set to get British — or French — embassies as a thank you from Obama"
This must be some kind of joke: Anna Wintour is "a successful, and by all accounts fearsome, woman," says Thomas Pascoe at Britain's The Telegraph. She might make a good ambassador somewhere, but not in the U.K. The U.S.-U.K. relationship is sure to get "increasingly spiky in the years ahead," as Britain edges toward a European exit, for example, over U.S. objections. The job requires a veteran negotiator, not someone "used to their word being writ." Obama can't be serious, can he?
"Anna Wintour as American Ambassador to Britain? At least Barack Obama has a sense of humor"
She still might not get the job — or want it: Wintour has competition, says Isabel Wilkinson at The Daily Beast. Matthew Barzun, Obama's campaign finance chairman, wants the London job, and Marc Lasry, managing partner of Avenue Capital Management, is angling for Paris. Plus, Vogue reps deny Wintour is interested. One of her friends, movie magnate Harvey Weinstein, advises against it. An ambassadorship "is a lame-duck job. After four years, you're out."
"Obama is reportedly considering Anna Wintour for ambassadorship to U.K. or France"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why I'm a pro-life liberal
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- If a nuclear bomb exploded in downtown Washington, what should you do?
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- How Ukraine can fend off the Russians, in 7 simple steps
- These stunning travel photos remind us that we're all just amateurs with iPhones
- Why we can't stop procrastinating, according to science
- Israel and Russia are getting along. Have the neocons noticed?
- 10 things you need to know today: April 16, 2014
Subscribe to the Week