First lady Michelle Obama is reportedly behind the push to award top Obama campaign fundraiser and Vogue editor Anna Wintour with a European ambassadorship — specifically to France — sources have revealed to The Daily Mail.
A State Department “insider” told the British paper that Wintour is “under consideration” for a diplomatic post.
“Anna Wintour’s friends have expressed an interest in making sure that she is nominated to become an ambassador to a major Western European nation,” the insider said, according to The Daily Mail. “I have had this confirmed from a friend in the political office at the White House. I am also told there is only a slight chance Wintour will end up in London.”
“Paris is her number one choice. I gather Ms Wintour finds the Paris house and grounds particularly spectacular,” the insider added. (RELATED: Report: Obama may name Vogue’s Wintour ambassador to the UK or France)
The Daily Mail notes that Wintour’s infamous reputation as an ice queen with an insatiable need for perfection could present problems in the world of diplomacy.
“She presides over the fashion business with the imperial hauteur of a Prussian general and expects instant, unquestioning obedience,” The Daily Mail quoted Toby Young, a British journalist and author of “How to Lose Friends and Alienate People.”
“It’s hard to imagine a personality less suited to the world of international diplomacy. She left school at 16 and has been working in fashion ever since. Obama’s chauffeur probably knows more about international relations than her. It’s like Caligula making his horse a senator.”
The British paper credits Wintour with the first lady’s transformation early in her husband’s first term from “awkward” lawyer to fashion icon. Vogue’s March 2009 issue was called the “Michelle Obama Edition.” The issue placed the first lady on the cover and offered an eight-page interview with her, complete with photos by Annie Leibovitz.
Wintour also reportedly influences Mrs. Obama’s wardrobe.
“Anna makes Mrs. Obama feel glamorous,” an administration source told The Mail.
And outside of the glamour Wintour apparently inspires in the first lady, the high-fashion leader was also a major asset to the Obama campaign’s fundraising efforts.
In September, New York Magazine reported that Wintour’s high priced celebrity fundraisers had brought in more than $2.68 million for the president up to that point, making her the fourth biggest Obama bundler.
The New York Post noted in late November that Wintour’s idea for Obama campaign-themed fashion merchandise, “Runway to Win,” raised another $40 million for the president’s re-election campaign.
It is not unusual for presidents to use diplomatic appointments to reward top campaign donors.
Last week, White House spokesman Jay Carney refused to offer any hints about the potential appointment.
“I have no personnel announcements to make, and I’ll leave it at that,” Carney told reporters.
Vogue spokeswoman Megan Salt told Bloomberg that Wintour is “very happy with her current job.”