By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers.
The foreign policy team around Barack Obama gets high marks for its discipline and discretion, reports a senior European diplomat to our Tom Omestad. "They're very cautious and very secretive," he says with a smile, betraying a bit of frustration at how little the Obama-ites give up about future policy moves on Iran, Afghanistan, and so on. Officials back in the diplomat's home capital apparently also feel frustrated when they're told that high-level meetings with the Obama folks aren't possible at this point. This diplomat suspects that Obama is "very at ease with that kind of management—trying not to be under pressure all the time." Moreover, he notes what appear to be different stress levels for Obama folks with the president-elect in Chicago and for those in the large transition office in downtown Washington. In Chicago, Obama appears to have created an atmosphere conducive to "relaxed" consideration of appointments and issues, says the diplomat. But in Washington, "the transition team seems to be under pressure every minute."