Sources: Obama picks for ambassadorships include top donors
February 28th, 2013
01:36 AM ET
5 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. Rick 7809

    So the news is this President is doing the same thing that every other President before him has done. Based on the most recent Rethuglian Party uproar with the Defense Secretary, I think the President should appoint a big Republican donor, so the Senate Republicans can tear them to shreds for cooperating with the "enemy". Now that would be fun to watch.

    February 28, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  2. Blanks

    You voted for change and you got the same old corruption. He makes Clinton look like an amateur when it comes to lying. For all Clinton's fabrications I still love the guy. Obama's vindictiveness and lying is a wet blanket.

    February 28, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  3. If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

    Everyone seems to be posting that this is no surprise and this goes on with every President.
    THAT'S THE PROBLEM! This should not be happening at all rather than supporters justifying it by saying everyone does it. Stop playing the politics of blame & justification, this IS the problem with our political (service) system.

    February 28, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  4. Lynda/Minnesota

    Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    McConnell will be remembered as the head obstructionists and the man who thought he can make our President a one-term President

    Apparently this article (and others) now being thrown at us are chock full of reasons why ... I ... and ... you ... and indeed ... all ... of ... us ... should never, ever vote for Obama as President of the United States ... ever again.

    Whomever 2016.

    February 28, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  5. EyesWideOpen

    It absolutely amazes me that the majority of commentators here entire argument in support of giving tax payer funded jobs to campaign donors is the other guy did it too. Seriously? Since Mr Obama isn't the first, it's OK? This country is in big trouble for lots of reasons but mostly the "support my guy no matter what" and "the other guy did it too" mentalities.

    February 28, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  6. Zenger Folkman

    @ Lynne Buchanan: "And here I thought all those one percenters were Republicans – hmmm." Where have you been for the past year?? Everyone knows the one percenters include the Kochs and the Obamas, the Clintons and the Adelsons, the Gates' and the Romneys, the Buffets and the Trumps, the Hollywood and the Corporate. Wake up!! try to expand your thinking a bit and stop being so partisan. It's all about WHICH rich guys do you trust. Me, I prefer the rich Dems, they have the right ideas.

    February 28, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  7. Piper

    Ya gotta pay to play.

    February 28, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  8. John Illinois

    Loooks like Obama was lying as always when he said he would be different from all the other politicians and run things differently. Hope and Change lies!

    February 28, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  9. Joe Mama

    It's not hard guys. Do you think this practice is right or wrong? So what if every President has done it. What is YOUR opinion? I don't see how being R or D fundamentally changes your opinion on the practice. Just pick a position and be consistent. Having opinions and sticking by them doesn't make you a bad person.

    February 28, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  10. Rick 7809

    "so as long as it has been done in the past, it's ok? what happend to all the talk about changing the way things worked in washington? if you complained about republicans doing it, you should also complain about democrats doing the same thing. ..not giving them a pass. hypocrisy at it's finest"

    OK, So just how many Republican Presidents have selected a Democrat Secretary of Defense. How is that for change.

    February 28, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  11. The Donor Party

    I voted for him, where's my payback? Oh yeah, I got a cell phone, extended unemployment, welfare, food stamps, etc ...

    February 28, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    It is most unfortunate for revenge seekers that we have seen the last Republcian POTUS for a generation or two. Democrats won't get the opporunity to give them a does of their own medicine..

    February 28, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  13. TomNPitt

    Isn't this what the Supreme Court meant in their verdict – Money Equals Speech?
    If you've got money – you're the king. And if you're not the king – you're at least in charge!!

    February 28, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  14. PuzzledInPeoria

    I just got a phone call that I'm being considered for ambassador to Afghanistan. Must be that cartoon I drew of Obama high-fiving his Wall Street buddies.

    February 28, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  15. Frank

    If Bush appointed top donors to ambassadorships, so may Obama. That is change you can believe in.

    February 28, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  16. Saboth

    Politics as usual. Washington is filled with donors and lobbyists now.

    February 28, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  17. Roy

    What should we expect from one of the most corrupt politicians of the modern era? He said he wanted to fundamentally change our country, and that is exactly what he is doing by systematically dismantling capitolism as the driving force behind our economy.

    February 28, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  18. James

    Change you can believe in!

    February 28, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  19. hammerschlag

    Somethings never change. Money , money and more money is all taht these people see and undestand. They will all see each other in hell someday.

    February 28, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  20. Joel


    It should also be noted that Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan donated tens of thousands of dollars to Obamas 2008 campaign before he installed her as a judge on the highest court in the land. Let me guess this post will be "awaiting moderation"

    February 28, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  21. Joel

    Elena Kagan. Over ten thousand dollars that we know of.

    February 28, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  22. Nagrad

    I find it disappointing that abassadorships have become little more than a prize to hand out to donors after an election. These people are supposed to represent us to foreign Governments, and be the "face" of America in their respective countries of post. The people in these roles should be professionals with the qualifications and experience to support high level diplomatic roles of this nature. I'm sure some of the donors have the experience to be successful ambassadors, but they should be hired on MERIT not simply because they bundled enough money in donations to buy the job.

    February 28, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  23. Terry

    ...but, but, but, everyone else get's away with it. Lol Obama, change you can believe in.

    February 28, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  24. bigrandy88

    Glad to see Obama is finally as corrupt as the other presidents. Time to drop that change crap.

    February 28, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  25. bigrandy88

    Glad that change cr@p is finally over. Now we can live in the same corrupt presidency like the other presidents.

    February 28, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
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