Barack Obama to appoint Louis Susman American ambassador in London
President Barack Obama, who promised to appoint more career diplomats to prestige posts abroad, is to install a wealthy financier who was one of his top campaign fundraisers to the plum job of American ambassador in London.
On the campaign trail, Mr Obama criticised President George W. Bush for appointing fundraisers to key diplomatic posts
Diplomatic sources confirmed to The Daily Telegraph that Louis Susman, 71, who retired as a vice-president of Citigroup in February, will become ambassador to the Court of St James’s. An announcement is expected shortly.
He has little foreign policy experience but has been nicknamed the Vacuum Cleaner in his native Chicago - Mr Obama’s power base - because of his ability to hoover up campaign cash. “. “I don’t think anyone enjoys raising money, but for some reason I seem to have a knack,” he told the “Chicago Tribune”.
Barack Obama's chance to don the mantle of a statesmanThe appointment, which is understood to have been accepted by the Queen, will raise fresh questions about Mr Obama’s commitment to the “special relationship” with Britain following an awkward first meeting with Gordon Brown in Washington.
In September, Obama campaign aides were irked by a letter from Sir Nigel Sheinwald, the British ambassador in Washington, to Mr Brown in which the then candidate was described as “aloof” and “decidedly liberal”, that was leaked to the “Daily Telegraph”.
On the campaign trail, Mr Obama criticised President George W. Bush for appointing fundraisers to key diplomatic posts. William Farish, a multimillionaire Texan, and Robert Tuttle, a California car dealer - both top financial backers - served as ambassadors to London during the Bush years.