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“There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be Secretary of State, although I’ve never heard him say that’s what he wants,” said James Hoge, editor of the Council on Foreign Relations’ Foreign Affairs magazine and probably Mr. “Dick’s a very strong-minded man with real commitments to what he thinks American foreign policy ought to be.He’s a believer that when it’s your time in history, you have to lead, and that it’s our time. Holbrooke can help as a New Yorker and diplomatic agent.But the couple’s absence will do nothing to slow frenetic speculation about the position they are suddenly positioned to occupy at the peak of high-profile New York. The purported apartment upgrade–confirmed by Calvin Mitchell, director of communications at the U. Mission to the United Nations–seemed in keeping with the ambitious streak commonly associated both with Mr. Marton, who, during a tumultuous 15-year marriage to ABC’s Peter Jennings, stood by him straight to the top of the news anchor heap. Holbrooke had already frequented the building during the period he co-habited with then-resident Diane Sawyer.Not since Adlai Stevenson was at the United Nations in the 1960’s has the ambassadorial post been as ready to combine social prominence and diplomatic influence. The Holbrookes have said they will stay in their apartment at the Beresford. Holbrooke’s collection of Asian art, it was part of Ms. The not-so-covert assumption regarding the official residence is that a grander space is desirable for a man driven to realize his tenacious dream of becoming Secretary of State. He and his wife of three years have become immediate candidates for the kind of gilt-edged couple encountered in one of his friend Ward Just’s Whartonesque Eastern Corridor novels.Holbrooke “a giant-size version of a garden-variety Washington narcissist.” He has said that he lives by two lessons he learned from Henry Cabot Lodge, when he served on the Ambassador’s staff in Vietnam: (1) The guest list is the most important thing in life, and (2) always eat before attending an official dinner, because they’ll try to kill you. Holbrooke, who could not make himself available for comment, will be more focused on living up to his own track record: as a notoriously ruthless negotiator, which even his detractors admit has resulted from his take-no-prisoners code of conduct.He earned one of his nicknames, “The Bulldozer,” for his habit of plowing through bureaucratic timidity and red tape.“He is not subtle,” said the novelist Ward Just, an old Foreign Service hand.
Holbrooke was insinuatingly critical in To End a War , his book on the Bosnia venture–is a good time for him to cultivate New York.
What can you say about a guy who used to ditch dates at the end of the evening for the opportunity to escort Jacqueline Onassis home?
“He’s intellectually honest, but so blunt it can be disconcerting,” said Time magazine managing editor Walter Isaacson, who has socialized with him and Ms. David Halberstam, another friend from East Asian days, said that Mr.
But now, especially in the wake of his perceived successes in Bosnia, the bluster is being enlisted to deal with the controversy swirling around the .1 billion in U. membership dues currently in arrears from the United States.
“He knows what he wants and how to pursue it, relentlessly, one might say–his tenacity wears people down,” said Fareed Zakaria, the managing editor of Foreign Affairs .
He has been, and is, called “bully,” “user” and not a “team player.” Now he is a team player, and the other member of the team is Ms. “They’re like two ambitions that met,” said a journalist, “across a crowded room.” Sympathizers prefer to call the partnership symbiotic.