Bruce Heyman, according to the Toronto Star
is the president's top choice, but must undergo a rigorous vetting process, nomination and confirmation prior to replacing David Jacobson, who has served as ambassador since 2009.
Heyman and his wife Vicki are well known fund raisers
for the Obama campaign and raised over $1 million dollars for the presidents campaign and were on Obama's national finance committee.
A partner at the investment firm Goldman Sachs would be a complete political unknown in diplomatic circles, according to the Vancouver Sun
, but he has an accomplished record in the private sector and was a tireless fundraiser for the president’s re-election. Like David Jacobson, the current ambassador, Heyman is also from Chicago.
The US and Canada have a strong trade relationship, with $1 billion of goods crossing the border daily. There are several critical files on the agenda of both countries, including the XL Keystone pipeline, carbon emission and fuel standards synchronization, and a perimeter security agreement among others.
Obama's pick is another example of patronage appointments, although an influential individual from Chicago can be of benefit to Canada. Chicago is an anchor to the Great Lakes and many Canadian companies are located in the city. Illinois is a major hub for Canadian energy, including the original Keystone system. Many businesses connect in the windy city and having someone that knows the Canadian economy should be an asset.
Caroline Kennedy was also considered for the post in Ottawa, but she is said to get the nomination for Japan.