Not Ready for Richard Holbrooke to Go

12/11/2010 12:04 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Steve Clemons Washington Editor at Large of The Atlantic and founder and senior fellow of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation.

Richard Holbrooke has been one of my most important touch points in Washington and has been a close friend, adviser, and in recent years -- a partner in sorting through and discussing in private some of America's biggest national security and foreign policy challenges.

He is very, very ill -- in critical condition at the moment -- after surgery to repair his aorta. My own father died of a ruptured aorta, and I find myself deeply distressed by the news just released.

Richard Holbrooke is not everyone's favorite diplomat -- but among those in the current Obama administration, he is mine. He is the Dem's most successful player in securing America's diplomatic objectives. A huge player in the global justice community, Richard is the one most tenaciously, vigorously, competently focused on achieving real results.

Richard Holbrooke can be a son of a bitch in all of the right ways -- a real fighter and a brilliant policy intellectual and practitioner -- and I'm hoping that he is fighting as hard as he can not to leave us. This city and America's foreign policy team will be vastly diminished without him.

I don't pray much -- but I am praying for Richard Holbrooke right now and his wife, Kati Marton.

-- Steve Clemons publishes the popular political blog, The Washington Note. Clemons can be followed on Twitter @SCClemons.