Obama Relying on Own Mini State Dept.

Candidate draws on expertise of 300 policy advisers
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 18, 2008 8:27 AM CDT
Barack Obama reacts to an appreciative crowd.   (AP Photo/Brett Flashnick, file)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – As Barack Obama makes his first overseas visit as the presumptive Democratic nominee, the New York Times spotlights the 300-strong army of foreign policy advisers that keep the candidate abreast of world affairs. Obama's operation is run like a mini-State Department, the Times notes, with senior aides taking responsibility for regions and overseeing 20 different teams.

"It is unwieldy, no question," admitted Denis McDonough, who leads Obama's foreign policy bureaucracy. And lately Obama's diplomacy machine has been rocked by the addition of new members from Hillary Clinton's campaign, such as former UN ambassador Richard Holbrooke. While the nominee's foreign policy team has no strong policy divisions, the scars from the bruising primary fight still remain.