Sources: Obama picks for ambassadorships include top donors
February 28th, 2013
01:36 AM ET
2 years ago

Sources: Obama picks for ambassadorships include top donors

Washington (CNN) - Major donors of President Barack Obama are leading candidates for ambassadorships, Democratic sources tell CNN.

Marc Lasry, founder of Avenue Capital Group and a key Wall Street backer of Obama during the election, is the leading candidate for ambassador to France, according to two Democratic sources.

The Lasrys were passionate supporters of Hillary Clinton during the 2008 primary campaign, but became big Obama bundlers in the last election cycle.

Patrick Gaspard, a former executive director of the Democratic National Committee, is a leading candidate to be ambassador to South Africa.

And Matthew Barzun, an Obama campaign finance chair and former ambassador to Switzerland, is the leading candidate for top envoy to England, the sources said.

According to one Democratic source, Caroline Kennedy, daughter of President John F. Kennedy, is also being considered for an ambassadorship.

It is rumored that she will be nominated to be the ambassador to Canada, though Bloomberg reported Wednesday night that she will be nominated as the ambassador to Japan.

Kennedy endorsed Obama early on in the 2008 election, and was a national co-chair of his 2012 campaign. A different source close to Kennedy says she hasn't been asked to do anything and isn't being vetted.

So far there are no confirmations of any nominations for Vogue editor Anna Wintour. In December, Bloomberg reported that Wintour - another big Obama bundler –- was on the short list for an ambassadorship.


Filed under: Caroline Kennedy • President Obama
soundoff (177 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    Anonymous
    What a Joke: Boehner, should go to every press conference and meeting with the budget Bills the House passed, this years in one hand and the one they passed last year in the other and just say, where is the Bill the senate has passed. Can’t compromise if there is not another option on the table?

    February 27, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
    asseyeseeit
    What a Joke: Boehner, should go to every press conference and meeting with the budget Bills the House passed, this years in one hand and the one they passed last year in the other and just say, where is the Bill the senate has passed. Can’t compromise if there is not another option on the table?

    February 27, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |

    February 28, 2013 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  2. Malcolm H

    Ironically crony politics was banned in many states during the progressive era. Take California for example; where to get a gov. job you need to pass a test related to that specific field. This deterred executives hiring "friends" and affirmed that only the best would get that job. I classify myself a classic liberal, and once again I find mindself at odds with the presidents policies. All senators, democrat and republican alike should do confirm any of these ambassadors.

    February 28, 2013 02:00 am at 2:00 am |
  3. MesaMax

    Gee, and this from the guy who in 2008 said that he would take the money out of politics. Gee, didn't he mean what he said??

    February 28, 2013 04:32 am at 4:32 am |
  4. W.

    There must be some sort of rule book or set of guidelines that the POTUS uses when they take office. This is always the same; money buys influence. There is no evidence that the affluent are any more effective or intelligent than many who teach or train Americans. I have never found any real purpose served by buying a position through influence. I suppose that nothing has changed in America, "It's money that matters..." What does a $10 donation buy? In the end, it is not what you know, but who you... well, it goes without saying. I have always found that those with the most money have the least intelligence and abilities.

    February 28, 2013 04:52 am at 4:52 am |
  5. Mike

    What say you, Mc Cain, Graham, Ayotte and Cruz? Start looking for any dirt yet?

    February 28, 2013 06:11 am at 6:11 am |
  6. Guest

    The sham president who embraces liberal big money while criticizing others. What a joke he is and has become. No integrity, no leadership...just campaign drama to satisfy the takers.

    February 28, 2013 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
  7. Richard Long

    Marc! It's a trap!!! Don't do it (even though you are a shining example of how our government is bought and paid for)!!!
    He'll send you over to a cushy ambassador gig and "oh no!!! the embassy was attacked by a group of peaceful protestors armed with RPG's and machine guns, not a well organized terrorist cell". Game. Set. Match.

    "Vengeance is the sweetest of all fruits... that's what you get for backing Hillary in '08" -obully

    February 28, 2013 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  8. Name lynn

    Two donors an democrates at that, republicans what are you going to say an do about that. Wow

    February 28, 2013 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  9. Rick McDaniel

    Obama pays back those who support him........and does everything in his power to defeat everyone who opposes him......and uses every method at his disposal, to attack anyone and everyone who opposes his march towards dictatorship in America.

    February 28, 2013 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  10. Jerry

    Come on América, don't fret, it's just payback time! THE KING is just se;;ing América to the highest bidders. However, HE still wants to everyone to death. So much for THIS liar caring about the middle class!

    By the way, Obamacare should really called by it's real name, ObamaDon'tCare! Me opine!!!

    February 28, 2013 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  11. Kelly51

    This is not right. This is not even close to being right.

    February 28, 2013 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  12. carlos

    Obama is certainly turing out to be a lieing sack of spit.

    February 28, 2013 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  13. Bob

    This is the definition of crony capitalism, the kind that leads to all manner of corruption. Will there be outrage on the left?

    February 28, 2013 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  14. Bob

    What? Obama's corrupt? But the media told me he was a hero!

    February 28, 2013 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  15. DuluthMN

    "If you want to know how a President runs, just ask the man who owns one." 40 year old song lyrics that ring true today......

    February 28, 2013 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  16. Anonymous

    Vogue Editor on a short list for an ambassadorship? How about giving these jobs to people who are qualified.

    February 28, 2013 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  17. Bob Kebic

    Being the best and the brightest means almost nothing these days – it's not what you know but who you know that makes the difference! Well, it worked wonders for the Communist Eastern Europe.

    February 28, 2013 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  18. Bob

    This is the definition of crony capitalism, the kind that leads to all manner of corruption which affects everyone. Will there be outrage on the left since the president said he was going to reform Washington and be a new kind of president?

    February 28, 2013 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  19. rs1201

    Between the threats the White House made to reporter Bob Woodward and this cronyism...the obama administration is going down the toilet.

    February 28, 2013 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  20. Rudy NYC

    The right wing is complaining about "crony capitalism" and charges. Where were their tears when Haliburton was being handed billion dollar no bid contracts? Besides, they are the ones who pushed for greater influence of wealth in our politics.

    February 28, 2013 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  21. Captain Kangaroo

    OBAMA, Good talker,but poor doer,good giver of american tax dollars.,Your money is the governments money,is this china,or america the home of the american people :-)

    February 28, 2013 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  22. Justin

    I guess this was the change that we can believe in. I'm glad to see appointed positions are now bought and sold.

    February 28, 2013 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  23. tarura

    Obama: a balanced approach is needed, because all I want is people's good.

    And people panicked, rushed back home to hide their goods.

    February 28, 2013 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  24. NameSven

    These are extremely easy ambassadorships to hold an the work is done mostly by the deputies. Politically appointed ambassadors tender their resignations at the end of a term. This process has existed for at least seventy years because it doesn't take a genius to be ambassador to France. You'd all know that if you read a book

    February 28, 2013 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  25. A Barnes

    Ambassadors are choosen this way. Most European countries have an Ambassador as a symbolic post (easy fun job), that is where political contributors get to go. Countries with serious threats and difficult situations have experienced people in those post. It has always been this way.

    February 28, 2013 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
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