Sources: Obama picks for ambassadorships include top donors
February 28th, 2013
01:36 AM ET
1 year 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. audrey

    Sure now it is time to pay back all his friends and bundlers and give them important posts.

    February 28, 2013 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  2. Mtheumer

    But isn't CNN supposed to be biased? And this is from Democratic sources? How can this be?

    February 28, 2013 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  3. MIchael

    Gee Rod Blagojevich from Illinois is in federal prison for selling Obamas seat in the Illinois house of reps... Isn't Obama doing the exact thing???? OPEN YOUR EYES AMERICA!

    February 28, 2013 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  4. Yanni

    CNN is encouraging the unhinged GOP/TP for explosion of manufactured outrage as if there is anything unprecedented with the nomination.

    February 28, 2013 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  5. Mike

    Washington is broken on both sides of the aisle. The American people, blinded by partisanship, will pay dearly for generations to come.

    February 28, 2013 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  6. Marcia

    News to you Repubs and non history people-this practice has been going on for over 200 years-and is done by every President

    February 28, 2013 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  7. Wilson

    This is a non-issue. All presidents have done this. There are plenty of legitimate issues to have with this administration and their policies.

    February 28, 2013 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  8. cedar rapids

    'I know. I know. It's Bush's fault or Bush did the same thing. We learned as kids that if someone did something stupid, that didn't give you an excuse to do it too'

    ok how about if every president did it, is it ok then? your talk about arrogance ignores history and is just an excuse to moan.

    February 28, 2013 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  9. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    I', shocked that the President hasn't offered some of these positions to republicans. Oops, I forgot, the GOPT would also express stern opposition to anyone the President selects for positions in his administration even if they're republicans simply because they don't like the President.

    February 28, 2013 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  10. livingston

    Every President has done the same thing. Anyone who went to high school knows that.

    February 28, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  11. PhillyJoe

    It is laughable to see all the Democrats defending the President on this one. Of course, this practice has gone on with every other President, but I don't recall President Obama campaigning on the notion that he would be just another same-old President. Remind me...what was his 2008 slogan? Something about "Change"?

    February 28, 2013 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  12. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    This one only seems worse because the quality of democrat liberal donors is really, really bad. It is hard to find one that can pass the drug test and can pass any kind of criminal history background check.
    -------------------------------------------------
    LOL!
    Stuffit you're not as irrationally hateful as you'd like us to think, although, admittedly, you put on a good show.
    Your rational admission that this has been done by EVERY other President gave you away. You gotta watch those slips.

    February 28, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  13. km

    Does Ms. Kennedy realize her relative – President Kennedy spoke out about these kinds of people? Wow she better watch that infamous speech he gave about secret societies, etc.

    February 28, 2013 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  14. Name lynn

    Why didn the republicans get on the donors to be elected, whats wrong republicans get on board the ship.

    February 28, 2013 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  15. Zenger Folkman

    Hey! I thought CNN was supposed to be biased towrd the Democrats. You mean the right wingers have LIED to us about this?? My faith has been shattered!

    February 28, 2013 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  16. Rudy NYC

    MIchael wrote:

    Gee Rod Blagojevich from Illinois is in federal prison for selling Obamas seat in the Illinois house of reps... Isn't Obama doing the exact thing???? OPEN YOUR EYES AMERICA!
    -----------
    Let me put it terms that you understand. It is not the same scenario. When Gov. Blago was soliciting donations he had control of the position. If Obama solicited donations in exchange for ambassadorships, then he did without the knowledge that he would have control of the selections. In other words, he had not yet won the election. You cannot sell that which you do not own or control.

    February 28, 2013 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  17. henson

    bait maybe? such a rare occasion that lib media would publish such a straight forward gaff of an article on the obama machine. psyke!!! no news here, gotcha!

    February 28, 2013 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  18. Elmore

    This has never happened before, has it Brownie :-)

    February 28, 2013 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  19. rs

    PhillyJoe

    It is laughable to see all the Democrats defending the President on this one
    ____________________________
    I dunno, it's laughable anyone is making an issue about this.

    February 28, 2013 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  20. Zenger Folkman

    No Michael, "selling" a senator's seat is not the same as "selling" an ambassadorship. OPEN YOUR EYES, MICHAEL!!! But let's admit, we need to get money out of politics ASAP. Campaign reform NOW!

    February 28, 2013 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  21. AmericaStand

    Of course if this occured under the Bush Administration, MSNBC and the rest of the liberals would be crying impeachment, foul, and making all sorts of noise. But we see as expected that MSNBC and their liberal followers aren't saying a word. Good job, CNN, for bringing this out. Combine this with Americans left to die in Benghazi, lobbyist groups being paid to advocate the Administration's agenda, and the usual "blame game/campaign" divisive politics from Democrats and the WH and we have the most failed presidency in history. When will Americans educated themselves and get their heads out of the sand.

    February 28, 2013 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  22. david

    Only problem is that Barzum was NOT ambassador to Switzerland (that would have been the superb Don Beyer) but to SWEDEN! CNN you should know better or check your facts.

    Although a frequent misconception Switzerland is NOT Sweden or vice versa...
    Sweden: Ikea, King, beautiful lakes, Stockholm etc. FLAT
    Switzerland: Cheese, banks, chocolate, Berne, etc. in the Alps...

    Yes, clichés but still they are different!

    February 28, 2013 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  23. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    Who cares, every president does it . Just more gop bafoon party propaganda from the fox dope channel for the gop brain dead hick voters !!!!

    February 28, 2013 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  24. rs

    What's even more noticable is the utter, rank hatred for the President of the United States demonstrated here, with either a dose of delusion, or ignorance of the past. IF this is really what the Right is all about (senseless pushback and anger), there is no reason to engage you folks on anything- except perhaps some psychtropic drugs. T'all need big time help.

    February 28, 2013 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  25. budshot

    Sorry, but every president does this. Every politician, from small town sheriff big city mayor to governor to state reps do the same thing. Anybody who thinks this is new or is just pointing the finger at Obama has an ax to grind.

    Doesn't make it right, but it has certainly been this way since the beginning of time.

    February 28, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
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