Obama Nominates Campaign Backers as Envoys to U.K., Italy

President Barack Obama is nominating campaign supporters to be the next U.S. ambassadors to the U.K. and Italy, two sought-after posts, the White House said today.

Matthew Barzun, finance chairman of the president’s 2012 re-election campaign, is Obama’s choice as ambassador to Great Britain and Northern Ireland, according to a White House statement.

John R. Phillips, a Washington lawyer who’s married to former Obama spokeswoman and strategist Linda Douglass, is being nominated as ambassador to the Italian Republic and the Republic of San Marino.

Barzun is a former adviser to and investor in Internet startups and previously served as U.S. ambassador to Sweden. Phillips founded a Washington law firm and was founder of the Center for Law in the Public Interest in Los Angeles.

The announcements came a day after Obama said he will nominate his deputy chief of staff Mark Childress as ambassador to Tanzania.

The nominations require Senate confirmation.

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