November 26, 2012

How Susan Rice Sees the World

Nicholas Lehmann, New Yorker

AP Photo

If Rice might be Secretary of State, it's worth wondering about her world view, beyond one morning's misstatement. It's not immediately easy to discern. The foreign-policy world extravagantly admires intellectual brilliance, but rarely produces it. Sweeping conceptual breakthroughs don't come along very often, and foreign-policy makers tend to be thinker-practitioners (They think when their party is out of power, and practice when it's in.) who can't afford to say or write anything very memorable, lest it offend someone and sully their confirmation hearings. George Kennan was a major thinker but a minor practitioner. James Baker was a major practitioner, but good luck figuring out what his conceptual framework was.

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TAGGED: State Department, Secretary of State, Barack Obama, United States, Susan Rice


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