This news is a little old, but somehow I missed it... Obama has chosen Miguel Díaz as the next ambassador to the Vatican. Díaz is a rising theologian, studied at Notre Dame, teaching now at St. John's. This is great news, following the aborted (yes, that was intended) possibility of Caroline Kennedy taking the post. Bush had also made a good appointment with Mary Ann Glendon... what I appreciate about these sorts of choices is their ability to understand the issues implicit in diplomatic relations with the Holy See. Maybe it's just my bias about people in academia, but someone like Díaz seems much better positioned than a politician or a businessperson to get this particular job done. The concerns of the Vatican are just different than the concerns of other states, and I think the ambassador should reflect such differences as well.
I don't know when the confirmation will take place, but I can't imagine there will be any great difficulty for him. The loudest (and they haven't been very loud) grumblings have been from conservatives, but a Rahnerian nominee isn't a bad choice for anyone with a serious concern about U.S.-Vatican relations, whatever their theological differences may be. Another interesting aspect of Díaz's nomination is that he is not only Cuban-American, but was born in Havanna. Perhaps this choice will follow in the footsteps of John Paul II's Cuban ties and expose a new face of U.S./Cuban relations, which I take to be currently a bit overly determined by pervasive public perceptions of who "they" are, in the same way that places like Iran are commonly viewed through various stereotypes.