Diplomatic editor: Is Anna Wintour really going to swap her Louis Vuitton for an attaché case?

Barack Obama is thinking of offering his biggest backer a new career as an ambassador

Speculation is picking up over reports that President Barack Obama will seek to nominate Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of US Vogue and one of his most effective re-election fundraisers, for an overseas ambassadorship in his second term, possibly even in her native land, Britain.

A legendary figure in the fashion universe with her steely bob hair-do and imperious mien, Ms Wintour has long evoked emotions ranging from reverence to ridicule. It was the latter that informed a Republican video last summer mocking her efforts to raise campaign cash with a line of Obama-themed fashion goods.

On that, as is often the case, Ms Wintour had the last laugh. It turns out that her ‘Runway to Win’ line, which offered fashion flotsam like bags and scarves variously featuring his face or his campaign logo designed by the likes of Marc Jacobs, Thakoon, Diane von Furstenberg, Derek Lam and Prabal Gurung, harvested an impressive $40 million for the re-election campaign.

The money was raised partly by sales of the goods but also through related social events to which Ms Wintour invited like-minded friends with deep pockets. There were even ‘Runway to Win’ functions in London and Paris this autumn. Additionally, Ms Wintour served as a celebrity co-host to dinners that featured Mr Obama himself at the homes both of Sarah Jessica Parker and Harvey Weinstein.

Thus Ms Wintour, 63, has emerged as one of Mr Obama’s most important re-election ‘bundlers’, someone who corrals cash for a candidate from as many friends and associates as possible. Rumours of her likely reward have been reignited by Bloomberg News, which cites two unnamed sources close to the president confirming that he is considering her as US ambassador either to London or Paris.

The White House is saying nought - Mr Obama has more urgent staffing business to attend to, like replacing Hillary Clinton at the Department of State. Equally mum has been Ms Wintour, though a spokesperson at Conde Nast headquarters in Manhattan, home to Vogue and its sister magazines, says she is not interested in trading her SoHo abode for Winthrop House, the mansion off Regents Park that has sheltered every US envoy to the Court of St James since World War II, or the equally impressive ambassadorial pad in Paris.

Choosing Ms Wintour for the UK post would raise many a disapproving eyebrow in Washington and in London. Certainly it would seem odd to serve a country you have adopted in the country you were born in. The eldest daughter of Charles Wintour, a former editor of the Evening Standard, she has dual citizenship.

That she has no experience of diplomacy might not be an issue, however. There is a rich tradition of American presidents rewarding their most important supporters with ambassadorships. Nor would it be the first time that a British-born woman would be thus anointed – Bill Clinton sent the late Pamela Harriman, a Washington socialite and Winston Churchill daughter-in-law, to be ambassador to France.

Mr Obama has done nothing to break the mould. Louis Susman was a Chicago-based investment banker and a bundler par excellence for Mr Obama in 2008 before being dispatched to London as ambassador nearly four years ago. In fact, of the 59 ambassadorial picks made by Mr Obama in his first term, 40 turned out to be people who had been election bundlers who had no prior diplomatic experience.

Ms Wintour, therefore, may indeed have first dibs on the diplomatic plumb jobs that are shortly to be distributed. But with a social status in New York that is already stratospherically high and a salary to match (Conde Nast is rumoured to pay her $2 million annually to keep American Vogue relevant) she may remove the sunglasses, look President Obama sweetly in the eye and say no thank you.

Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Lewis Hamilton walks back to the pit lane with his Mercedes burning in the background
Formula 1
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con
comic-con 2014
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Bryan had a bracelet given to him by his late father stolen during the raid
A rub on the tummy sprang Casey back to life
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
Tovey says of homeless charity the Pillion Trust : 'If it weren't for them and the park attendant I wouldn't be here today.'
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Employment Solicitor

    Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - Senior Employment Solici...

    Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

    £600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

    Commercial Litigation Associate

    Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

    Systems Manager - Dynamics AX

    £65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...

    Day In a Page

    Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

    The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

    What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
    Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

    Finding the names for America’s shame

    The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
    Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

    Inside a church for Born Again Christians

    As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
    Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

    Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

    Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
    Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

    Incredible survival story of David Tovey

    Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
    Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

    Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

    The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

    Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

    Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
    German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

    Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

    Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
    BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

    BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

    The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
    Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

    Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

    Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
    How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

    Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

    Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
    Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

    Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

    Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
    10 best reed diffusers

    Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

    Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

    Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

    There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
    Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

    Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

    It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little