May 7, 2005
Timken may be next ambassador to Germany
By Paul M. Krawzak
Copley News Service
WASHINGTON — W.R. “Tim” Timken Jr. is in line to be the next U.S. ambassador to Germany, according to a German newspaper report. The report could not be confirmed by either the White House or the Timken Co.
The newspaper Der Tagesspiegel reported in its edition today that Timken, chairman of the company board of the Canton-based bearings and steel manufacturer that bears his family name, would be appointed ambassador.
Timken, who retired as CEO of the company in 2003 at 65, has been a major donor to President Bush, other Republican politicians and the party. Two years ago, Bush appointed him chairman of the Securities Investor Protection Corp., a federal organization created to preserve investor confidence. He still holds that position.
“I can’t speculate on rumor,” Timken Co. spokesman Jason Saragian said of the report. The story did not name any sources of the information.
Another company executive, Robert J. Lapp, said he had no knowledge of any pending nomination. “I was with Tim last week, and there was no mention made,” said Lapp, vice president of government affairs.
Timken was unavailable to comment.
Bush traveled to Latvia on Friday on a four-day trip that will include a 60th anniversary celebration of the end of World War II in Moscow.
Responding to the report, a White House spokeswoman simply noted that the president has not yet nominated a successor to Daniel R. Coats, the former ambassador to Germany, who stepped down in February. Coats previously served as a senator from Indiana.
When the president nominates someone to be ambassador, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee reviews the choice before it goes to the full Senate for an up or down vote.
An aide to Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Richard Lugar, R-Ind., said he has not heard any talk of Timken being nominated.
“I’m not aware of anything new that’s been happening in nominations in the last couple of days,” Lugar press secretary Andy Fisher said. Even if Lugar had advance knowledge, he would not reveal a nomination before a White House announcement, Fisher said.