January 7, 2007

THE ON-DECK CIRCLE:

Negroponte Moves to Job Considered Crucial at State Dept. (Karen DeYoung and Walter Pincus, 1/05/07, Washington Post)

[N]egroponte's move to become Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's deputy, and his replacement by retired Navy Adm. John M. McConnell, had little to do with any assessment of Negroponte's tenure or with the unfinished state of intelligence integration, a range of senior administration officials said.

Instead, it stemmed directly from the urgent need to fill a State Department job, vacant since early last summer, that was seen as crucial to implementing the new Iraq policy that President Bush plans to announce next week.

Negroponte will take charge of State's Iraq account as the administration begins a sharply uphill effort to turn around a failing war and persuade the new Democratic Congress to follow its lead. A career diplomat who served as Bush's ambassador at the United Nations and in Baghdad before becoming intelligence chief in April 2005, Negroponte will also have primary responsibility for policy toward China and Northeast Asia, especially the North Korean nuclear issue. Rice will focus on Iran, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and other issues.

"This is a key job, a really important job," said one State Department official, who noted that other senior vacancies remain. "We've had a thin bench."


Most importantly, it puts him in position to succeed Ms Rice when she replaces Vice President Cheney.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 7, 2007 9:53 AM
Comments

I heard John Negroponte interviewed on C-Span recently. I was less than impressed.

Posted by: John J. Coupal at January 7, 2007 10:56 AM

Oh, when will you give up on the whole Cheney retirement thing?

Posted by: Brandon at January 8, 2007 12:15 PM

January 2009

Posted by: oj at January 8, 2007 12:47 PM

Rice has proven to be a colossal disappointment.

She can go run the NFL if she wants - she has risen beyond her level of incompetence as Secy. of State.

Posted by: ratbert at January 8, 2007 3:17 PM

She's been terrific, not least by mostly ignoring Iraq.

Posted by: oj at January 8, 2007 5:22 PM
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