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NBC Gushes Over Obama's 'Very Fashionable Decision' to Possibly Name 'Vogue' Editor as Ambassador

At the top of Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie cheered the news that President Obama may make one of his major campaign donors, Anna Wintour, an ambassador: "Going Vogue? A report this morning that the President could appoint Vogue's famed editor-in-chief Anna Wintour to be his next ambassador to England or France. More on what could be a very fashionable decision." [Listen to the audio]

During a panel discussion later in the show, fellow co-host Willie Geist excused the obvious patronage job: "This is not unusual...I think something like 30% of appointees to ambassadorships are political, as a reward for people who raise a lot of money." That prompted a round of jokes about giving money to Obama to get an appointment. Fill-in news reader Tamron remarked: "[Wintour] raised more than $500,000 for his campaign, so we need to get on the ball....We need to get it going..."

Weatherman Al Roker chimed in: "Well, if we had started chipping in....what the heck, I'd like to go to the Bahamas." Geist quipped: "You might get that. Just give a little – float a little cash his [Obama's] way."

Rather than be critical of Wintour's qualifications, the Today show crew praised the fashion celebrity. In a 7 a.m. et hour news brief, Hall wondered: "She's conquered the fashion world, could diplomacy be next?" Teasing the upcoming panel segment in the 9 a.m. et hour, Roker similarly asked: "Should Anna Wintour be a diplomat? An ambassador? We know she is to fashion, but what about this country?"

In the discussion, Guthrie put this question to Hall: "Can you make an argument that she'd be a good ambassador?" Hall responded: "I think she probably would, especially for the UK. I mean, I attended an event with her, and if people believe she's a one-trick pony when it comes to fashion, they are wrong. I mean, she's one of those bold, opinionated strong women."

Here is a full transcript of the December 4 coverage:

7:00AM ET TEASE:

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Going Vogue? A report this morning that the President could appoint Vogue's famed editor-in-chief Anna Wintour to be his next ambassador to England or France. More on what could be a very fashionable decision.

7:14AM ET NEWS BRIEF:

TAMRON HALL: And she's conquered the fashion world, could diplomacy be next? According to Bloomberg, Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour could be the next ambassador to the United Kingdom or France. The report says the President is considering the 63-year-old for a post in his next administration. The White House isn't commenting, and a Vogue spokeswoman says Wintour is, quote, "Very happy with her current job."

9:12AM ET TEASE:

AL ROKER: Coming up, in our Take 3, should Anna Wintour be a diplomat? An ambassador? We know she is to fashion, but what about this country?  

9:18AM ET SEGMENT:

WILLIE GEIST: Alright, our Take 3, this one has a lot of people talking. Ambassador in Vogue. For 25 years, fashion leader Anna Wintour has been the editor, of course, of Vogue magazine. But now, there's a report in Bloomberg that suggests President Obama is considering her to be the United States ambassador either to the UK or to France.

ROKER: Nice. Well, then that would make Andre Leon Talley the secretary of state.

GEIST: There you go.

HALL: Oh, that would be fabulous.

GEIST: He's very good.

GUTHRIE: Excellent Vogue personnel knowledge there, Al.

ROKER: Thank you.

GUTHRIE: Very impressive.

GEIST: So she was, of course, born in the UK, now a United States citizen. This is not unusual. Savannah, you've covered Washington, you know that this is part of the job. I think something like 30% of appointees to ambassadorships are political, as a reward for people who raise a lot of money.

GUTHRIE: Yes, and this – I mean, either France or the UK would be considered the plumiest of plum assignments.

GEIST: Yes, that's the one to have.

ROKER: Man.

GEIST: What do you think? Good idea?

GUTHRIE: Can you make an argument that she'd be a good ambassador?

TAMRON HALL: I think she probably would, especially for the UK. I mean, I attended an event with her, and if people believe she's a one-trick pony when it comes to fashion, they are wrong. I mean, she's one of those bold, opinionated strong women.

ROKER: When we were in London for the Olympics, we got to go to the ambassador's-

GUTHRIE: We saw the digs.

ROKER: That is the second biggest private garden in Britain.

GEIST: Is that right?

ROKER: Behind Buckingham Palace.

GUTHRIE: They did this event for some of the U.S. athletes at the ambassador's residence, let me tell you, it's not too slouchy. Nice place, right?

HALL: She raised more than $500,000 for his campaign, so we need to get on the ball.

ROKER: Well, if we had started chipping in.

HALL: We need to get it going so we can get in that residence four years from now.

ROKER: Well, what the heck, I'd like to go to the Bahamas.

GEIST: Alright, so – you might get that. Just give a little – float a little cash his way.