Obama taps Matthew Barzun as London ambassador

Matthew Barzun in Stockholm on October 21 2010. JESSICA GOW/AFP/Getty Images

Matthew Barzun, a businessman and Obama fundraiser, will become the next U.S. ambassador to the royal court of the United Kingdom, CBS News' Major Garrett reports.

Barzun, who chaired the Obama campaign's national finance committee in the 2012 election, is a former U.S. ambassador to Sweden. According to the Times of London, his wife, Brook Brown Barzun, is a Louisville-bred heiress to the Brown-Forman Corporation, one of the largest American-owned alcohol purveyors. Barzun himself was one of the first employees at CNET in 1993 and spent over 11 years there. CNET and CBSNews.com are both units of CBS Interactive.

According to the Boston Globe, Barzun is a direct descendant of John Winthrop, the wealthy Englishman who became the first governor of Massachusetts in 1630, and also interned for then-Senator and now Secretary of State John Kerry while in college. 

Vogue editor Anna Wintour, another prominent Obama fundraiser, was also rumored to be in the running for the London ambassadorship. But last week, Wintour was named the artistic director of Conde Nast, the company that houses Vogue and a number of other magazines.

One measure of Barzun's influence can be gauged by his presence in a recent campaign ad by Mitch McConnell, which targets prospective candidate Ashley Judd and a handful of other Kentucky Democrats.

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.