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Jake Sullivan, Biden’s Adviser, Long a Figure of Fascination

  • November 30, 2021

Mr. Romney did not single out Mr. Sullivan, though many have, including Brett Bruen, the director of global engagement in the Obama White House, who wrote an opinion article in USA Today calling for him to be fired.

Supporters of Mr. Sullivan see two structural complications to his role. For starters, he is in a position of enormous responsibility but circumscribed authority. Condoleezza Rice, a national security adviser and secretary of state under President George W. Bush, described the job in her memoir as “rarefied staff.” Mr. Sullivan is also a product of Washington’s insular foreign policy establishment, a cohort whose traditional support for muscular U.S. foreign policy interventions has fallen out of favor across the political spectrum in the aftermath of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Biden’s cabinet picks went to Ivy League schools, have strong resumes, attend all the right conferences will be polite orderly caretakers of America’s decline,” Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, tweeted after Mr. Biden named his team last November.

The question is whether Mr. Sullivan, 45, lauded as a “once-in-a-generation intellect” by Mr. Biden and “a potential future president” by Mrs. Clinton, can recover from a messy year of foreign policy predicaments.

Mr. Sullivan has told colleagues that he is determined not to have his tenure defined by the bloodshed in Afghanistan. The crisis has receded somewhat since August, allowing him to focus on trade policy, energy prices and an international supply chain that has helped fuel the spike in inflation.

Mr. Biden’s recent trip to Europe, which Mr. Sullivan was heavily involved in planning, allowed the White House to bank some solid accomplishments, including a global deal to set minimum corporate tax rates and a climate agreement to reduce methane emissions. White House officials were relieved after the international uproar over the withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/30/us/politics/jake-sullivan-biden.html

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