- The Washington Times - Monday, January 5, 2009


Susan Glasser, the former Washington Post assistant managing editor who became executive editor of Foreign Policy magazine, brings readers an eye-opening headline for her debut issue: “The Making of George W. Obama.”

Equally intriguing, the article is the first by former State Department “boy-wonder” Christian Brose, newly crowned senior editor at Foreign Policy, who only a few weeks ago was chief speechwriter and policy adviser for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, having previously reported to her predecessor, Colin L. Powell.

(When the just-nominated Miss Rice heard foreign-policy suggestions offered by the normally reserved Mr. Brose, who had shyly raised his hand to speak, she inquired about the identity of “that young red-haired kid.” He was 25 years old.)

“One of my regrets about my work at the State Department is that we were unable to convince the American people that [George W.] Bush‘s pragmatic internationalism had within it the makings of a strong, sustainable global leadership for the 21st century - and that, as such, it had the potential to heal some of the fraught divisions over America‘s role in the world that have plagued the country since the end of the Cold War,” Mr. Brose now writes.

As for President-elect Barack Obama: “The 2008 U.S. election was all about change. But that’s not what we’re going to get on foreign policy,” Foreign Policy recaps. “Instead of a radical departure from Bush, we’re likely to end up with a lot more of the same. And that may be just what we need.”


Washington’s Media Research Center observes that nearly two years after reporters derided President Bush‘s troop surge as “a folly” and “lost cause,” American troop deaths are at their lowest level since the Iraq war began in 2003.

“So right on cue,” says the media watchdog, the New York Times reports that “ABC, CBS and NBC have all pulled their full-time reporters from Iraq. According to correspondent Brian Stelter, the lack of violence means the networks are less interested in the Iraq story.”

Wrote Mr. Stelter: “Representatives for the networks emphasized that they would continue to cover the war and said the staff adjustments reflected the evolution of the conflict in Iraq from a story primarily about violence to one about reconstruction and politics.”


“It’s one of those things that if you’ve done it a number of times, it’s usually, ‘Ho hum.’ But this is no ordinary thing. I’m as excited now as I was the first time. I’m sky-high.”

So legendary presidential-inaugural parade announcer Charlie Brotman tells Inside the Beltway in advance of announcing his 14th presidential inauguration parade for “my 10th new president - a period of 52 years. It’s a good thing I started when I was 3, or I would be old.”

Actually, Mr. Brotman was 28 in 1957 when he announced to re-elected President Dwight D. Eisenhower what band was next marching up Pennsylvania Avenue before the presidential reviewing stand - and now marches up before the nation’s first black president.

“I think this could be the most meaningful and the most exciting inaugural we’ve ever had,” Mr. Brotman agreed. “It appears to me that from everything I’ve heard, seen and read, our new leader Barack Obama is creating the America every American wants it to be.”


The National Black Republican Association is calling on President-elect Barack Obama, on behalf of his fellow black Americans, to demand an apology from the Los Angeles Times and opinion writer David Ehrenstein “for denigrating you as a ‘Magic Negro’ in an article entitled ‘Obama the ‘Magic Negro.’”

The article, which appeared in March 2007, was subtitled: “The Illinois senator lends himself to white America’s idealized, less-than-real black man.”


Rep. Edward J. Markey, Massachusetts Democrat and chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, pushed a bill last year successfully preventing Uncle Sam from refilling the Strategic Petroleum Reserve until the cost of oil came down.

That time has now come - for how long, nobody knows - so Mr. Markey in recent days requested the Department of Energy go ahead and purchase about 12 million barrels of crude oil.

• John McCaslin can be reached at 202/636-3284 or e-mail John McCaslin.

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