President Obama's "Team of Rivals" propaganda did more to fatten book sales of Dolores Goodwin Kearn's book of the same title than provide any real rivalry among cabinet members (the book can also put you to sleep.)
I mention this because two mainstream articles, one by Time's Joe Klein and a feature by Robert Dreyfuss in Rolling Stone show two different portrayals of one of Obama's notable "rivals", National Security Advisor Gen. James Jones.
The Rolling Stone piece reads like a rehashing of four month administration talking points set along the "rivals" theory of governance. The article says Obama does not have much of a relationship with the general but has spent the past two years gaining familiarity with him on the campaign trail. Jones, a supporter of Obama and frequent critic of the war, is described along the lines of how the Administration would have you believe him to be behind closed doors. According to a Time opinion piece last week, Jones is anything but a go-getter and Type-A personality in meetings.
There is some concern, however, about National Security Adviser James Jones, who is still adjusting to civilian life after a brilliant career in the military. "Obama has appointed all these high-powered envoys like [Richard] Holbrooke and [George] Mitchell, but we don't know who's going to really be in charge of setting the foreign policy priorities," says a prominent foreign policy realist who admires Jones. "That should be Jim's job. But he's throwing off a sense of uncertainty." Several sources say Jones seems to attend meetings rather than lead them. "He needs to drive the agenda," the foreign policy expert adds.The appointment of old Democratic hands like Mitchell and Holbrooke to Middle East hot spots way back in February may signal Obama had already viewed Jones as overwhelmed by the position. Are there foreign policy problems bigger than Israel/Palestine and Iraq/Afghanistan?
Rolling Stone may primarily be a music and culture magazine but it does churn out insightful public affairs pieces from time to time. This is not one. It gives the appearance of sloppy journalism or worse by its shocking mimicking of the party line, the feel of propaganda.
Other than that, what can I say? There's a pretty good story about the porn industry's top actress in this week's issue.