The White House press corps pressed spokesman Jay Carney on the reports that Anna Wintour was up for an ambassadorship, and while Carney wouldn't comment on pending appointments, he did address the issue of whether a diplomat has to be diplomatic.
ABC News' Jake Tapper even asked Carney whether President Obama has seen "The Devil Wears Prada," the book and movie that was a thinly veiled portrait of Wintour, but Carney didn't answer.
But Carney said that the late Richard Holbrooke was "one of the greatest diplomats of his generation" yet "I think everyone who knew him or who sat across the table from him would agree that he was not by anyone’s traditional definition particularly diplomatic."
Here's the transcript from today's press briefing:
Q Someone very well dressed. (Laughter.)
MR. CARNEY: I anticipated the question you’re asking, and I can tell you in advance -- I will answer the question, but that I have no personnel announcements. I’m not going to engage in speculation about possible personnel announcements. I think that the President, in all of his personnel appointments, looks for talent, wisdom and character in his appointees, and he would do that regardless of the position.
Q Is it important for a diplomat to be diplomatic?
MR. CARNEY: One of the -- (laughter) -- I mean, another way of addressing that is to answer the question that there have been enormously effective diplomats in this country’s history who have not necessarily risen through the diplomatic corps. Now, we have enormously talented --
Q I mean, just even in their personal lives, or pop culture, you are --
MR. CARNEY: I think --
Q I mean --
MR. CARNEY: I don’t know -- I understand that that’s a rhetorical question, and diplomacy is effectively performed by diplomats. But we had one of the greatest diplomats of his generation pass away not long ago -- Richard Holbrooke -- and I think everyone who knew him or who sat across the table from him would agree that he was not by anyone’s traditional definition particularly diplomatic.
Q No, but he was also a brilliant negotiator and --
MR. CARNEY: So they come in all types and sizes and approaches.
Q Has the President seen “The Devil Wears Prada”? (Laughter.)
Q Before we go to -- question, you don’t deny that Anna Wintour can become ambassador from the United States --
MR. CARNEY: I will not engage in any speculation about personnel announcements. I just won’t.