If President Obama reads the book, it might inspire him in his second term to make a few out-of-the box diplomatic appointments instead of rewarding big campaign donors with embassies, and to take bold initiatives to justify his Nobel Peace Prize. A good start would be making Samantha Power his national security adviser. At a recent speech at the University of California at Santa Barbara before an audience of Global Studies majors, MA students and faculty, I asked the crowd to name Obama's current NSC adviser. Not one person could do it.
-- Our colleague Derek Shearer, the Stuart Chevalier Professor, Diplomacy and World Affairs at Occidental College in Los Angeles and the former U.S. Ambassador to Finland, in his latest, characteristically provocative, essay at The Huffington Post. It's a wide-ranging, global-themed, holiday essay, entitled Looking for a Lady Gaga Xmas and Finding Justin Bieber: What to Gift Obama and Occupy, replete with book and movie, as well as political, recommendations. (photo credits here and here)