This week’s addition to the Obama administration valedictory is another lengthy article in The New York Times Magazine: “The Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama’s Foreign-Policy Guru.” This one is by David Samuels, and it profiles Ben Rhodes, President Obama’s deputy national security adviser for strategic communication.
As with Jeffrey Goldberg’s article in The Atlantic on “The Obama Doctrine” and Andrew Ross Sorkin’s “President Obama Weighs His Economic Legacy” (also in The New York Times Magazine), the article is full of information and juicy tidbits. Whether it is praiseworthy or damning will probably depend on your point of view.
What is most interesting to me, however, are the connections between this article and Jeffery Goldberg’s, especially what those connections say about President Obama’s worldview and how they explain the Administration’s policies, especially in the Middle East. While different people are doing the writing and different people are being written about, there is a real consistency between the two articles.