Baseball Matters at the State Department Communications Shop

The new State Department communications team has divided baseball allegiances.

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By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers

Theirs is a business where each diplomatic chit matters, so it's probably no surprise that the trio that runs the State Department's communications shop also cares passionately about baseball, where every at bat counts. Via DipNote, the department's blog, we learn that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's new team would feel just as at home in a sports bar as the Carl T. Rowan Press Briefing room. Word first came from new daily spokesman Ian Kelly, a longtime diplomat and Chicago Cubs fan. In his posting, Kelly noted that the Cubs won the day before his first briefing, which he took as a good omen.

Then last week we got word of P. J. Crowley's allegiance to the Boston Red Sox. Crowley is a longtime national security spokesman who was just OK'd by the Senate as the assistant secretary of state for public affairs. "I am an avid Red Sox fan," he says in his DipNote. The team and the job have some history. Under former President Bill Clinton , Red Sox Nation member Nicholas Burns held the position.

Crowley also said that Judith McHale, under secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, is a New York Yankees fan. She skipped the baseball talk in her DipNote, maybe because her team is the one the boss, the former New York senator, prefers. 'Nuff said.

Still, when it comes to diplomacy, Crowley promised that the three will be able to overlook their hardball rivalries. "We are united by a higher calling and significant challenges," he said.

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