The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

Shark Week at State?

I’ve been hearing what I guess you’d call credible rumors from a number of informed people both inside and outside the Obama administration that Judith McHale,

Elyse Woods
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Feb 13, 2009

I’ve been hearing what I guess you’d call credible rumors from a number of informed people both inside and outside the Obama administration that Judith McHale, the former president and CEO of the Discovery Channel, is going to be tapped imminently as the next Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy. Al Kamen at The Washington Post has been all over the prospective McHale buzz, but in the last day, several people have told me they expect an announcement very soon. Neither the White House nor the State Department would comment on McHale.

It’s an interesting choice. McHale doesn’t have a diplomatic background. But neither did Jim Glassman, the recently departed undersecretary whom public-diplo watchers considered the office’s first success story. McHale, though, is said to be close to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and has been a big donor to Democratic politicians, shelling out over $100,000 during the 2008 campaign cycle. Marc Lynch recently made a case against her, but I’ve heard support for her from career diplomats as well.

If indeed McHale gets the job, it’ll raise the question of the which direction the Obama team wants to take public diplomacy. Under former President George W. Bush, who placed loyalist Karen Hughes in the job in 2005 — widely seen as a disaster — the undersecretary became the lead for strategic communications across the government, tasked with convening, coordinating and executing the U.S. communications strategy abroad. It’s unclear whether the Obama administration will continue that model. Denis McDonough, a close Obama adviser, has the strategic communications portfolio at the National Security Council. Will McDonough play the role in the interagency process that the undersecretary of state played in the Bush administration?

I’ll have more on all this later.

Elyse Woods | As a product marketing manager, I've had the opportunity to help a variety of companies improve their sales margins and audience reaction to new products. Since I am passionate about product perception, marketing, and company statistics, I have brought commitment and positive results to the companies with which I have worked. What makes a product successful fascinates and inspires me.


Rep. Paul Ryan to deliver SOTU response

Chairman of the House Budget Committee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will deliver the Republican response to the State of the Union Tuesday, according to Mike Allen

Rep. Paulsen allies with medical device industry to relax FDA oversight

Source: Flickr; Republicanconference ( On the heels of the Minnesota Independent story last week about U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen’s cozy financial relationship with the medical device industry, the New York Times reported Tuesday that some health professionals are alarmed by Paulsen’s push to relax Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversight

Rep. Paulsen touts balanced budget constitutional amendment

In a post for the conservative blog True North , U.S. Rep

Rep. Patrick McHenry: Please, Conservatives, Fill Out Your Census Forms!

The conservative congressman from North Carolina, a constant critic of the census -- one of the people who sounded the alarm about politicization when the

Rep. Paulsen, Karl Rove the latest to get ‘glittered’

Rep. Erik Paulsen and former Bush staffer Karl Rove were both showered with glitter at the Midwest Leadership Conference Friday

Rep. Perlmutter to hold constituent meet-up in grocery store

Colorado Congressman Ed Perlmutter will hold a Government in the Grocery constituent meet-up this evening from 5-7 at the Safeway at 38th and Wadsworth in Wheat Ridge. The address is 3900 Wadsworth. The meeting, where Perlmutter typically sits at a folding table and talks to whomever shows up, is free and open to the public

Rep. Perlmutter criticizes House measure that would eliminate 800K federal jobs

Congressman Ed Perlmutter today issued a scathing statement criticizing the House of Representatives for passing a spending bill that could put nearly a million federal employees out of work. The Colorado delegation voted strictly on party lines, with all four Republicans voting in favor of the bill and the three Democrats voting in opposition. Perlmutter’s statement: “My number one priority is to get people back to work because that’s the best thing we can do to pay our debt and move forward toward economic stability

Rep. Pete Stark Won’t Dignify Constituent by, er, Micturating Upon His Leg

In the tradition of Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), California Democratic Rep. Pete Stark revealed at a recent town hall gathering that there are limits to what

Rep. Peace, ACLU seek investigation of soldier’s allegations of racial discrimination in Afghanistan

Both Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) and the American Civil Liberties Union agree: There needs to be an investigation into Spc.

© Copyright 2021 The Washington Independent All Rights Reserved

Terms & Privacy |