General Jones Says To The Universe: I Exist!

For the first time, Gen. James Jones, Obama's national security adviser, will brief reporters today. He'll do so on camera, in the White House briefing room, after the Presidents of Pakistan and Afghanistan depart.  Jones, to my knowledge, has never briefed reporters, even in a background session. He has given a few interviews; he's not appeared on a Sunday show. He has delegated many of the public communication responsibilities of his job to his deputies, whom he allows unfettered access to President Obama. That's led some within the administration to question whether he has influence, or whether he's strong enough to handle the more, shall we say, exuberant personalities in Obama's foreign policy world.

Say this for Jones: the region he'll brief about is, without a doubt, the single biggest morass, the largest hole, the most perilous challenge Obama faces, arguably even more acute than Iran's nuclear weapons program. So James's briefing, perhaps, is meant to serve as the administration's definitive take on the events of the day.

Except for this: Obama will speak about his meetings. And the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, already briefed reporters today on Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The more on-the-record briefings, the better. And today's appearance is an interesting way for Jones to tell the universe that he exists.