Alex Massie

Waiting for the Call

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Steve Clemons posts a very droll email purporting to be from an anxious Democrat wondering what, if any, job he (or she) might receive in the Age of Obama...

Like you, I keep a secret "A list" of positions I would kill for, including all manner of ambassador slots, sub-secretary -ships and senior director positions.

I have my secret "B list" of fall back positions I would also kill for, including senior advisor, special assistant, and even the Deputy Assistant Secretary-ship. Of course, I tell almost no one about these lists.

If people saw the B list, that might reduce my chances of getting an A list job. And if they saw the A list, people might think I was too arrogant, too demanding, and too self-delusional to serve in the administration. It takes a lot of skill to project A-list, aspire to B-list, and secretly wonder if you're on any list at all.

Like you, I have started to act like a person in the know. I never mention except to my closest friends that no one from the transition team has called me. When anyone mentions the transition in conversation, I nod silently and knowingly. I start every sentence about politics by saying "I am not officially part of the transition but...

It reminded me of this (sadly non-embeddable) classic moment from Yes Minister in which Jim Hacker ponders what might happen to him in the next cabinet reshuffle. If there is a reshuffle, of course...

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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