Anna Wintour is stepping up her political game , raising questions whether she will be stepping into a diplomatic role as well.
Britain’s Guardian newspaper wrote on Sunday that the Vogue editor, who has raised a half-million dollars for President Obama, is the subject of speculation that she might be angling to be the American ambassador to Britain.
A Vogue spokesperson speaking on background told ABC News that the rumors are just that, rumors, and that Wintour is perfectly happy being the U.S. editor of the influential fashion magazine. Wintour is well aware of the speculation, the spokesperson said.
The Obama administration did not immediately respond to a request to comment on Wintour’s donations and the possibility of a job in the administration.
Obama promised to end politics-as-usual in Washington, but trading ambassadorships for campaign fundraising is one aspect of Washington politics that has not changed.
The current U.S. ambassador to England, Louis Susman, was a fundraising machine for Obama’s 2008 run. In April, Obama nominated Timothy Broas, who also raised more than a half-mil for Obama, to be the next ambassador to the Netherlands. Last year, iWatch News reported that many of the so-called bundlers who funneled millions of dollars to Obama in 2008 have been rewarded with nice jobs and access, like the telecommunications executive Donald Gips who became the ambassador to South Africa.
Before his 2008 election, Obama spoke out against the practice of wealthy donors being rewarded with prestigious ambassadorships. In early 2007, the candidate derided special interests who he said “turned our government into a game only they can afford to play.”
“They write the checks and you get stuck with the bill. They get the access while you get to write a letter. They think they own this government, but we’re here today to take it back,” he said.
Wintour is a different type of money raiser in that she’s already a well-known face, somebody who would generate intense speculation were she to get a prestigious job in her native London while having questionable qualifications to be an ambassador.
In a fundraising pitch, Wintour, 62, starred in a Web video to advertise a dinner with Obama, the first lady and Sarah Jessica Parker in New York. “These two wonderful women and I are hosting a dinner along with the president in New York City to benefit the Obama campaign on June the 14th,” she said. “It will be a fantastic evening, and you can join us.”
This week, Wintour will campaign for Obama in Chicago with David Bowie’s wife.