It's been a few years since we last heard the rumor that Fareed Zakaria was in the running for Secretary of State. But now, with the 2008 presidential campaign underway, it's happening all over again, with his name being attached to Barack Obama. Jon Friedman of MarketWatch asks Fareed straight-up in this interview:
Zakaria told me a few weeks ago in his Newsweek office that the cabinet speculation is "one of the strange burdens" of having such a prestigious reputation. "I'm flattered, I suppose," he said. "But I'm not a 'party man,' and you usually have to demonstrate that kind of loyalty to be chosen for government office."
I asked him bluntly if he would go to Washington. "I won't be coy with you. I'll give you an honest answer," he began. "I'd always be intrigued. But again, it's unlikely and I'll die happily if I never have a White House pass."
Ultimately, Zakaria said: "If I were a betting man, I wouldn't bet on this."
I wonder if Obama would take that wager, though.
Friedman says Zakaria has a "strong regard" for Obama, and thinks he's "charismatic and energetic." He also likes the fact that Obama has lived abroad. Elsewhere, he says that his favorite movie is Casablanca, and is Jon Stewart's most frequent guest (tied with John McCain at 8 appearances). And he has this to say about the president:
"The tragedy for President Bush is that now he's making the right moves with North Korea, and to an extent with Iran. But it's too late to turn things around."