Friday, July 2, 2010

The men's room

More kudos for Steven Clemons and his blog The Washington Note. According to one of Steve's blast emails, Time Magazine cited his blog as one of their ten favorite.

They admired his inside reporting on the Washington foreign policy scene. It is true, his access sometimes seems incomparable. And he is always somewhere, especially places women dare not go. He also seems to spend as much time in airports as Tyler Brûlé and he isn't even Canadian.

The blog is very amusing, especially on the rare times he actually writes for it. Most of the serious posts are from guest bloggers. Otherwise, Steve aggregates or appropriates others' ideas and accomplishments. He organizes, moderates, and comments on policy issue programs. He is at the table.

Mostly, he talks about himself on his blog. There are lots of pictures of him and his dogs; and loads of description of the latest important sounding conference or person he is attending [sic].

He has big dogs.
My favorite post was during the 2008 Republican National Convention that he was purportedly blogging on, though the resulting posts were few and short on substance. He reports:

I've been having chats with quite a few hard core Republicans about this and that, including the Sarah Palin choice. In fact, I stood at a urinal next to Tom DeLay today at the St. Paul Hotel as we, well, you know. . .into a bunch of ice. He lamented how ice had sort of disappeared from most urinals and had become old-fashioned. We didn't get to Palin.

Yeah, like most women, she was not all that interesting anyway.

Steve is very popular in Washington. He got his start in Washington by helping Chalmers Johnson and a very brief stint at the Nixon Center. He is one of the "acceptable" Japan experts. The men of The Alliance Managers haul him out when they want someone to appear to disagree.

But Steve is the master of all and none. His foreign policy interests are only as deep and long as the topic is in the news. The don of this sort of self promotion is Richard Holbrooke who used to be a China hand. He is now the Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan who General Stanley McChrystal described to be "like a wounded animal." Holbrooke's immediate retort to this observation has everyone in DC pulling up their lawn chairs to watch the drama and probable demise.

 Steve has been observed also following Holbrooke into the men's room.

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