05/02/2007 03:02 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Reading The Pictures: Help Wanted


Hi, I'm Stephen J. Hadley, the President's National Security advisor, coming to you from my White House office, where I'm desperately looking for somebody to be the new inside salesman for our war effort.

I'm featured in this interview and photo in today's NYT because I'm known as the reasonable one around here, and it's this quality Karl wishes to project right now to potential applicants -- especially since everyone we've solicited for "War Czar" so far has told us to go jump off a cliff.

What makes me perfect for this appeal is the fact I am so politically nondescript. (If Condi, my predecessor, on the other hand, had been interviewed about what I'm doing, you would be cursing now and throwing things.) That's also why I'm sitting in this comfy chair beside my desk, gesturing about how tiny and simple things are, and smiling. When it comes to PR, disarm, disarm, disarm. ...To be honest, though, this "War Czar" task was supposed to be part of my job description. The problem is, milquetoast doesn't get you too far around here.

(Just between you and me, though, even I'm having trouble understanding the task. Per instructions, the way I explained it to The Times is that: "The official ... would brief Mr. Bush every morning on Iraq and Afghanistan, then prod cabinet secretaries into carrying out White House orders..." On second pass, I said: "...(We) must recruit someone of stature to get the attention of the cabinet." What's all the prodding and "attention getting" about? I guess, now that the President has taken over Rumsfeld's job, we need a figurehead to keep Gates and Condi from messing with the party line.)

Anyway, that's what it's like here in the White House. Big, small or no ego at all, we're here to sell, sell, sell.

Now, about that job. If you're interested -- especially if your over 6'5'', ridiculously popular, and you once wore the uniform -- please call or email. Email is faster because, as you might have noticed, I work on two computers at once. If you go the electronic route, though, also send hardcopy. That's because, lately, Karl has had this nasty habit of coming around late at night and erasing everything.

For more of the visual, visit

(image 1: Stephen Crowley/The New York Times. Washington. May 1, 2007.