Yesterday morning I offhandedly suggested that Obama tap Richard Holbrooke to be his administration's point man on India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Last night, the WaPo reported Obama's considering doing just that. Coincidence?
I do think this would be a smart move on Obama's part. For one thing, it would actually make use of Holbrooke, who's too talented a diplomat to sideline for the next four years. At the same time, the narrow--although hardly insubstantial--assignment would presumably do a better job of forcing Holbrooke to stay in his lane than, say, having him serve as Deputy Secretary of State, where
, as John Bolton showed in the first term of the Bush administration, [reader S.A. points out that Bolton was Under Secretary of State for Arms Control] there's plenty of potential to make mischief.
It'll be interesting to see if Obama finds similar special roles for other talented Democratic policy types who get passed over for the top jobs in his administration. For instance, will the loser of the contest between Dennis Ross and Daniel Kurtzer for Middle East envoy be given another assignment?