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Where's Warren Christopher?

A transition micro-drama played out this week after former Secretary of State Warren Christopher's name surfaced in Al Kamen's column as the leader of Obama's Foggy Bottom transition team. I soon recieved emails from two smart foreign policy thinkers marvelling that Christopher, whose tenure at State under Bill Clinton was spotty at best, and whom many Democrats think failed them during the 2000 Florida recount, would be returning to the fold. Today the Obama camp forcefully corrected a subsequent AP story mentioning Christopher--taking the additional step of circulating that correction via its press email list, lest anyone miss the news. (See Seyward's earlier item for details.)

As far as I've seen, however, the Obama camp has not commented on Kamen's report that Christopher's longtime deputy, Tom Donilon, is also playing a transition role. Donlin makes plenty of sense, not only because he's a former '92 Clinton transition official--but also a longtime Joe Biden loyalist. It's possible that Donilon's involvement was mistaken for a Christopher comeback. More generally, it will be interesting to see whether Biden is puts a personal on the State Department, which he knows as well as anyone who hasn't actually served there.

P.S. Also on the Foggy Bottom front, Kamen had an interesting nugget on another apparent transition absentee: Richard Holbrooke:

"He is not part of any transition team," we were told, and he "hasn't been to Washington since before Election Day."

Update: An Obama transition release late this afternoon officially names Donilon and Wendy Sherman, a Madeleine Albright protege, as "Agency Review Team leads" for the State Department.

--Michael Crowley