Increasing chatter that IBM heiress and philanthropist Jane Stetson, former Democratic National Committee national finance chair and Obama mega-bundler, is a strong candidate to be the next ambassador to France.
Stetson is the granddaughter of Thomas J. Watson, founder of International Business Machines (IBM), and daughter of Arthur K. Watson, who was ambassador to France in the early ’70s.
She’s fluent in French and has studied at the Sorbonne and the American College in Paris.
Stetson raised $2.4 million for Obama and the DNC for the 2012 campaign, and her bundling since 2007 totals just under $4 million, according to an analysis in the New York Times. And that may be lowballing the totals and does not include personal contributions.
Billionaire hedge fund head and major bundler Marc Lasry had been the White House’s first pick for the job — though he was never officially nominated — but he withdrew two months ago amid news reports that he played poker in an alleged Russian mob-run poker ring that was laundering money through a Carlyle hotel art gallery.
“It’s not that he’s committed a crime,” a source told the New York Post at the time, “but it opens a can of worms” in terms of getting the nomination confirmed.
Meanwhile, we’re hearing that the White House is thinking about renominating Washington lawyer and major Obama campaign bundler Timothy Broas to be ambassador to the Netherlands.
The White House withdrew the nomination in June 2012, 10 days after Broas was arrested for speeding, drunken driving and resisting arrest near his home in Chevy Chase. He was going 47 mph in a 35 mph zone in that infamous radar zone on Connecticut Avenue just north of Chevy Chase Circle. The latter two charges were dropped shortly after the arrest.