In the Arena

Over-Interpretation

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The bloggerati is just amazing sometimes. The comments of one admirer of Jim Jones in my 100 days piece has now telescoped into Jones in Trouble! The hilariously inaccurate Michael Goldfarb has now ginned up a conspiracy and a confrontation involving Richard Holbrooke and Doug Lute. 

So let’s set things straight: As far as I know, Jones is not in trouble. I have heard absolutely zilch about bureaucratic turf wars in the foreign policy field. Indeed, I’ve only heard that everyone is getting along pretty well. What I have heard from several of Jones’s friends and admirers is that he’s still feeling his way, still making the transition from general to staffer and that he probably should be a bit more aggressive in pushing his views in meetings. And the jury is still out on the most crucial point: whether he’ll bond with Obama in the way the most successful National Security Advisers do (think Scowcroft-Bush or Clinton-Berger). And that is all there is to it, so far as I can tell.

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