<em>Times of London</em> on Obama’s Europe Void

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The Times of London has picked up on the issue that Senator Obama has not convened a policy related hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Subcommittee on Europe and added to this something I reported yesterday — which was that Europe does not figure into Obama’s travel profile. Many people are wondering why any of this travel experience matters — particularly a bunch of my Obama-supporting friends. This debate started with the Boston Globe‘s endorsement of Obama in which…

Obama Mentions Hagel as Potential Cabinet Choice

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Barack Obama has often said that he would like to have Republicans serve in his Cabinet if elected President. I think that this is a very smart move — as the only way to get back to results-producing government is to win over enough dissident Republicans to generate a new, workable political equilibrium. Obama has mentioned Schwarzenegger, Richard Lugar and Chuck Hagel as possibilities for a government he might run. At the same time, Bloomberg may decide to shock everyone…

Where in the World Have Clinton, Obama, Biden, Romney and Others Been? More on the Experience vs. Identity Debate

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On Facebook, of which I’ve become a fan, there is a Google interactive travel map titled “Cities I’ve Visited.” I’ve ticked off 227 cities listed in 42 countries. Each place has a little pin in it noting Steve Clemons has been there. But in my case, South America, Africa, and Central Asia are pretty big voids. But what about the Presidential candidates. I asked all of the campaigns to send me their contender’s travel roster for trips outside the US…

Hillary’s Legislative Czar Leaving Senate Office But Nobody Really Leaves Hillaryland

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Laurie Rubiner, Legislative Director on Hillary Clinton‘s Senate Staff, is departing her position by the end of the year — i.e., in two weeks. Rubiner has been one of the reasons why Hillary Clinton’s Senate legislative profile has been praised by so many. Clinton gets high marks from nearly everyone for how she has worked the levers of the Senate’s institutional machinery to achieve policy and political traction. Laurie Rubiner, a former senior health policy adviser to Senator John Chafee…

Castro’s Surprise: How Will the Presidential Candidates Respond?

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Fidel Castro has just given the world the opportunity to ponder a new direction for Cuba. Castro has issued a statement that is vague but nonetheless signals that he sees himself departing the political front line and making room for a new set of leaders. As Center for Democracy in the Americas Director Sarah Stephens said today on a journalist conference call, “Cuban leaders don’t communicate by accident.” She said that “change is in the offing.” And that “Castro is…

Obama vs. Clinton on Putting Legislative Machinery to Work

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Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are the clear frontrunners in the Democratic primary race, and the comparisons between them are going to be tough-edged over the next couple of weeks. I have been very critical of both, and applauded both. I did not like Hillary Clinton’s embrace of the Bush administration’s policy of keeping Cubans isolated from us while nearly every other nation in the world — even Israel — is engaged commercially and increasingly culturally with Cuba. Cuba…

Former CIA Bin Laden Hunter Says A Neglectful Congress & Executive Should Be TIME’s Persons of the Year

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In response to my note that “The Guantanamo Detainee” be named TIME‘s person of the year because of the legal and political convulsions and hemorrhaging that will be caused for years ahead by institutionalized extralegalism there, Michael Scheuer sent me a thoughtful note of his own on the subject that needs to be read. Scheuer, as most know, was head of the CIA’s now terminated “bin Laden unit” and authored Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on…