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Friday, July 18, 2008

Obama's Foreign Policy Voice

Marc Ambinder

Turns out there are 301...

Not mentioned in this morning's New York Times piece on Barack Obama's foreign policy team is Ben Rhodes.

Rhodes, 30, is Obama's principle foreign policy speechwriter. He does a large share of the staff work and writes Obama's foreign policy talking points, turning ideas into words. Rhodes isn't simply a background ghostwriter; Obama calls him an "adviser" -- a distinct title from "writer" -- and lets him speak directly on foreign policy matters. Rhodes and foreign policy chief Denis McDonough worked with Obama to write a now-famous blog post justifying his vote for the FISA compromise.

Rhodes was an author of the 9/11 commission report and was a special assistant to Lee Hamilton, one of the 9/11 Commission co-chairs, at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He is a contributor to the Partnership for Secure America. He also worked on the Iraq Study Group, leading the New York Sun to call him a "wunderkind."

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