She may not have gotten tapped to be President Obama's ambassador to the United Kingdom or France, diplomatic posts for which she had been rumored to be in contention.
But Anna Wintour has landed on her feet.
The editor of Vogue has just been named the "artistic director of Condé Nast," the company that publishes Vogue, Vanity Fair, the New Yorker and Glamour, among other publications. Wintour described her position as "almost like being a one-person consulting firm," running through ideas with editors at the publication and recruiting new talent.
Wintour has been extraordinarily effective in recent years at waving the flag for her publication, with a (now-ended) Fashion's Night Out event, appearances in multiple documentaries (most notably "The September Issue"), and a sort of good-humored series of public appearances after the release of "The Devil Wears Prada," a film about an icy, imperious fashion magazine editor. It's hard to imagine predecessors of hers at Vogue getting invited on David Letterman's talk show -- much less saying yes, then joking with him about how "you could buy lipstick" for $20 and her "ice queen ... dominatrix" reputation.
And as the chairman of Condé Nast ages -- Si Newhouse is 85 -- Anna Wintour comes to appear more and more important to the future of an industry under siege by the Web. "It isn't about a machine or an iPhone or an iPad. It's about people," Wintour told the New York Times; if any one person can make the experience of reading a magazine, any of Condé's diverse stable, seem lushly glamorous enough to put down an iPad, it's Wintour. She'll surely be back on Dave's couch soon.