Richard Holbrooke has been one of my most important touch points in Washington and has been a close friend, adviser, and in recent years — a partner in sorting through and discussing in private some of America’s biggest national security and foreign policy challenges.
He is very, very ill — in critical condition at the moment — after surgery to repair his aorta. My own father died of a ruptured aorta, and I find myself deeply distressed by the news just released.
Richard Holbrooke is not everyone’s favorite diplomat — but among those in the current Obama administration, he is mine. He is the Dem’s most successful player in securing America’s diplomatic objectives. A huge player in the global justice community, Richard is the one most tenaciously, vigorously, competently focused on achieving real results.
Richard Holbrooke can be a son of a bitch in all of the right ways — a real fighter and a brilliant policy intellectual and practitioner — and I’m hoping that he is fighting as hard as he can not to leave us. This city and America’s foreign policy team will be vastly diminished without him.
I don’t pray much — but I am praying for Richard Holbrooke right now and his wife, Kati Marton.
— Steve Clemons