Mort Kondracke is an old friend, and so is James Glassman. Mort was once a senior editor at TNR; Jim was once its publisher. Sterling journalists and honest people. They've moved a bit (too far) right for my tastes since they worked here. But I read what they write and I listen to what they say. So do many other folk.

And Glassman has been the "public diplomacy" person at the Department of State for maybe half a year. He was no one's tool. Moreover, he was not at all Karen Hughes' successor. She was...well, over her head. Let's leave it at that.

I don't want to take a job away from a deserving Democrat. But Glassman is an ideal successor to himself. He is not an ideologue.

But he is a man of ideas, of democratic ideas. And he believes still in the power of the America message. No one in our politics dislikes him. That's not because he's soft. It's because he is straightforward and honest. He doesn't laugh at people with whom he disagrees.

Keep Gates! I support Mort's suggestion: Keep Glassman, too.