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Deputy National Security Adviser For Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes at the White House, Washington, Feb. 16, 2016 (AP Photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais).

Is the Obama Administration Really So Good at Foreign Policy Messaging?

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

A profile in The New York Times Magazine of Ben Rhodes, the Obama administration’s deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, has been the focus of attention in U.S. foreign policy and media circles since it appeared last week. There’s a lot of ground to cover in giving the article a critical reading, and little of it reflects positively on the author, David Samuels—or on the Obama administration, if not quite for the reasons Samuels claims.

In a nutshell, Samuels uses what is ostensibly a profile of Rhodes, who is President Barack Obama’s speechwriter as well as one of his closest foreign policy advisers, to grind a few axes over the Iran nuclear deal. ...

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