17Political Attunement

A self-described “realist,” Richard Haass was a senior foreign policy official under both Presidents Bush. But Vice President Dick Cheney considered him so insufficiently hawkish that he had his phone tapped. Having his advice ignored is the least of the indignities Haass has suffered in public life.

As president of the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Haass is arguably in a more influential position now than when he was at the State Department. He’s a regular fixture on TV news shows and the lecture circuit. Journalists solicit his opinions. Presidential candidates, as well as sitting heads of state, seek—and sometimes even follow—his advice, not to mention foreign secretaries, ambassadors, and business ...

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