Hosni Mubarak: My Part in His Downfall

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This nugget of analysis from Politico is one for the scrapbook, I'd say. (I'm assuming the official quoted does actually exist. Don't spoil this for me by telling me it's pure invention.)

After days of frustration and high anxiety during which the United States looked impotent and at times out of touch with developments in Egypt, the Obama administration finally notched a foreign policy victory with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's decision to resign and turn over power to top military officials...

Despite the lack of an obvious roadmap for Egypt, allies of the White House moved swiftly to claim that Obama's strategy, which was being panned in some quarters on Thursday as confused and ineffectual, had won out.

"Great news for the administration/president," said one senior Democratic official who asked not to be named. "People will remember, despite some fumbles yesterday, that the President played an excellent hand, walked the right line and that his statement last night was potentially decisive in bringing this issue to a close. The situation remains complicated and delicate going forward, but this is a huge affirmation of the President's leadership on the international stage."

Oh, huge affirmation. But let's share the credit a little more widely. An associate of mine, who asked not to be named, made this comment:

Clive played an excellent hand and walked the right line. His statement over supper last night was potentially decisive in bringing this issue to a close. The situation remains complicated and delicate going forward, but this is a huge affirmation of his leadership on the international stage.

I wouldn't go so far myself. (And note that my statement was only potentially decisive. It will be some time before we know whether it was actually decisive.)

I'd rather just say, today happened, and challenges remain.

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Clive Crook is a senior editor of The Atlantic and a columnist for Bloomberg View. He was the Washington columnist for the Financial Times, and before that worked at The Economist for more than 20 years, including 11 years as deputy editor. Crook writes about the intersection of politics and economics. More

Crook writes about the intersection of politics and economics.

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