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Rice And Lake, Mia?

With the top two positions at state and the national security advisor job nearly locked in, it's interesting that the two senior people on Obama's foreign policy campaign team--Susan Rice and Anthony Lake--don't seem to have been in the (public) mix for tippy-top national security jobs. Regarding Lake, people have said for a while that he might not be interested in rejoining government. (The Times of London says that Lake "didn't want" the SecState job--though I haven't seen that replicated by any U.S. reporting, nor does it mean it was offered.) And one of the jobs that might have been natural for him--National Security Advisor--would be a tough pick because his tenure in that position during Bill Clinton's early years was not seen as a roaring success.

As for Rice, Politico reported on Saturday that her "prospects may have dimmed because she is one of the few Obama insiders who has been skeptical of a quick withdrawal from Iraq" (really? that's news to me) adding that it’s "likely, though, that she'll be given a major role in the new administration somewhere else, if she wants one." One does hear talk of her as Ambassador to the United Nations.

And, of course, another top Obama foreign policy advisor, Greg Craig, was recently named as White House counsel. Sam Stein has a point worth bearing in mind here:

A former Clinton aide, discussing the construct of an Obama cabinet, noted that Craig and Rice were two of the most vocal critics of Sen. Clinton's foreign policy capacity and gravitas during the Democratic primary. It didn't seem coincidental, the source said, that they would not be working alongside Clinton in the future administration.

How strange it would be if Obama is arranging his foreign policy team so as not to offend the woman whose foreign policy provided the foil for his primary candidacy.

--Michael Crowley