Add one more to the group of competent professionals who just can not work for this administration: Margaret Tutwiler, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy: "Margaret Tutwiler is quitting after just six months as head of US public diplomacy to become vice-president for communications and government relations at the New York Stock Exchange. Her departure from the State Department comes at a time when US credibility and popularity in the Middle East, as well as parts of Europe, are plumbing new depths, according to opinion polls. Ms Tutwiler, who will take up her new job on July 12, gave no reason for the move."
Bush created this position in response to the extraordinary collapse of America's image in the Muslim world, you'll recall. He gave the job to advertising executive Charlotte Beers, who proved a rather complete failure and quickly resigned "for personal reasons." Bush then showed how much importance he placed on public diplomacy by leaving the job unfilled for nine months - during the period that we were, you know, invading Iraq and failing to convince most of the world to take our side. Finally, Tutwiler came on board. A Congressional Advisory Commision on Public Diplomacy issued a raft of sensible proposals. The Bush administration ignored almost all of them, instead throwing money down the Al Hurra sinkhole.
Tutwiler had an impossible job, trying to execute public diplomacy for an administration that cared not a whit for it. Good for her, refusing to lend her good name to the charade. Will Bush bother to fill the position this time? Who will he select - Daniel Pipes, perhaps?
UPDATE: if you're as obsessed with this topic as I am - unlikely! - check out the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings yesterday evaluating al Hurra. Shorter Senate Hearings: Norm Pattiz and Muwafic Harb think its going great. Nobody else does.