WASHINGTON – Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy, is a leading candidate to become President Barack Obama’s nominee as ambassador to Japan, two sources said.
Kennedy, 55, would replace John Roos, a former technology lawyer and Obama campaign donor, as U.S. ambassador, according to the sources who asked for anonymity because the decision hasn’t been made official.
While the president has signed off on Kennedy’s nomination, her vetting for the post hasn’t been completed, one of the sources said.
An early backer of Obama in his 2008 run for president and a cochair of his 2012 re-election campaign, Kennedy is one of several Obama political supporters and donors being reviewed for ambassadorships to top allies.
The president is considering John Emerson, the president of Capital Guardian Trust Co., as ambassador to Germany, the sources said. For the embassy in France, the leading candidate is Marc Lasry, the chief executive officer of Avenue Capital Group LLC, who helped unite the fundraising networks of Obama and former President Bill Clinton.
As Obama replaces Cabinet members, he is also rounding out his diplomatic representatives and rewarding those who worked for his re-election.
After considering Anna Wintour, editor in chief of Vogue, as envoy to the U.K., Obama is leaning toward Matthew Barzun, finance chairman of his presidential campaign, for the job, officially known as ambassador to the Court of St. James’s.
In 2009, when Hillary Rodham Clinton left her New York seat in the Senate, Caroline Kennedy called the governor, David Paterson, to express her interest in the job.
In January 2008, when Obama was still battling Clinton for the Democratic nomination, Kennedy endorsed Obama with a New York Time opinion article, writing: “I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them. But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president.”
At the party’s convention last year, Kennedy said Obama’s first-term record reflected “the ideals my father and my uncles fought for.”