America is going to experiment with a tougher line with China.
Helene Cooper has a very insightful piece in today’s New York Times (which is great despite quoting this writer) that notes that the Clinton and GW Bush administrations started off badly with China and then moved into a smoother course. Obama started out smoothly and is now moving into rapids.
Norway’s Embassy in Washington has just announced its Facebook and Twitter pages.
In fact, Norway has a whopping three twitter pages. A year from now, I’ll have to see which are most active. On Norway-US politics, Norway-US culture, and a hybrid of stuff.
UK Ambassador to the US Sir Nigel Sheinwald and his wife, Lady/Dr. Julia Dunne throw some of DC’s best parties — small dinner parties on the patio; slightly larger nice deals with 30-35 around a very intimidating formal table, garden gatherings, huge boisterous affairs with everyone from this blogger to Colin Powell to Hillary Clinton to Wolf Blitzer to Elise Labott and Chuck Hagel in the room — and they are all really fantastic. Yes, I like to go.
And the Embassy is looking for a new “head chef” who not only enhances the Sheinwalds’ shine at all of these gatherings but whose responsibilities would no doubt include overseeing a large daily operation for the very big Embassy.
I know who the Sheinwalds & Co. should hire. I actually really do — but won’t write the individual’s name here.
This spot calls for not just someone who can cook well, but someone who can cook brilliantly and keep a daily operation feeding hundreds and hundreds going with a smile — and someone who is part of that British food pivot trend where all of a sudden British food is prepared in memorable, somewhat unexpectedly un-American and un-French creations.
The Ambassador and his team should have some fun with this and select the “head chef” via some sort of star search process — like in Iron Chef. (Let me be a judge!)
The Brits are on Twitter too — and Facebook. And here is Ambassador Sheinwald’s blog.
Australia & Indonesia
Barack Obama is going to both in March — to Indonesia to remind Americans what a diverse and eclectic cat he is, and to Australia to check in with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who is more and more vital to the US in dealing with China, climate change, and a mountain of other issues in which Obama needs someone who can straddle our world — and theirs.
— Steve Clemons