He spent 10 years as Barack Obama’s right-hand man. As a new film puts him in the spotlight, he talks high-stakes diplomacy and the chaos of Trump’s White House
In his final foreign speech as president, Barack Obama spoke to a crowd in Athens. “As you may have noticed,” he said, “the next American president and I could not be more different. But American democracy is bigger than any one person.” More than a year on, with that proposition tested daily, Obama’s decision to make his last trip abroad to the birthplace of western democracy looks prescient.
The person Obama turned to just before taking the stage was a trim man with thin, close-cropped hair and a furrowed brow who had been at his side on almost every foreign trip he made, and who helped write this and just about every other foreign policy speech the president delivered. Ben Rhodes, the longest-serving member of Obama’s foreign policy team, at the age of 40, has been a permanent fixture in his close orbit; inside the Obama camp, Rhodes was routinely said to be so close to the president that their minds had melded.
A lot of advisers are thinking: how can I get my proposal into this speech? I was thinking: what does Obama want to say?
Rhodes suspects the work of spoilers opposed to the US-Cuban detente. ‘I do not believe it is the Cuban government’
Nothing suggests the Trump White House has a process to deal with something like Ebola
Link : Ben Rhodes: ‘Obama has a serenity that I don’t. I get more exercised’