More than that, but it is a sign of changing times and the mainstreaming of blogging.
Mona Sutphen, a former diplomat, Clinton NSC aide and Rahm Emanuel’s Chief of Staff, has been named White House Deputy Chief of Staff – a powerful, albeit very “insider”, post. Until last February, Sutphen was also briefly a foreign policy blogger at The Next American Century , which was a short-lived vehicle to promote The Next American Century: How the U.S. Can Thrive as Other Powers Rise
a book Sutphen co-authored with Nina Hachigian.
I have not read their book ( nor heard of it before today, to be frank) but from listening to Sutphen and Hachigan opine on their infomercial video (see below) The Next American Century sounds more or less as a breezy and happy version of the themes in Thomas P. M. Barnett’s yet to be released Great Powers: America and the World After Bush that I’m reading, minus the sharp elbows thrown by Tom and the latter book’s deep dive into historical and strategic drivers for the 21st century. Otherwise, there’s a lot of big picture congruency going on – no wonder Tom’s so happy about the incoming Obama administration; it seems like it will have at least some personnel in high places who are predisposed toward his strategic views.
A final point, that Obama is moving such relatively young faces, like Mona Sutphen, to high posts is a good sign. Regardless of how my more liberal readers and fellow FP/mil/Intel/security bloggers may feel, the Democratic bench in these areas range from fair to decidely weak with a shortage of “stars” in the critical late 40’s to middle 50’s age band that normally fill the first through second tier appointive posts (of course, that deficit partly comes from liberal activist hostility toward more conservative Democrats like Sam Nunn or Lee Hamilton who are always shortlisted but never appointed). Normally, you need a talent pool at least 2-3 deep at each position to handle the burnout, transience and delay in confirmation hearings that every administration faces. The Democrats have to build up that pool instead of relying on ancient Carter and aging Boomer, Clinton retreads ( even so, look to seeing a lot of familiar GOP faces seatwarming in the first year in the bureaucracy, unless the Senate rushes through every Obama appointment in record time).