Content-free weekend

19 January 2009, 2204 EST

Obviously, it is slow around here over the long holiday weekend.

Here’s my brief winter holiday weekend report:

1. My wife and oldest daughter left Louisville early Saturday morning to attend the Inaugural. They do not have tickets to any events, so they will be among the masses tomorrow. However, they did have a well-placed friend for a pre-Tuesday function. As a consequence, they already met the President-elect and the rest of the Obamas! More here.

2. While most of my family is out of town, I’ve been reading email and blog posts about the incoming administration.

This is the best line, by far: “Clinton would have picked a better secretary of State.”

Madam Secretary-to-be cleared the Senate Foreign Relations Committee easily, but the hearings had a somewhat unpleasant, if familiar, feel to them.

3. I’ve been crafting an assignment requiring my US Foreign Policy students to research likely changes Obama will bring. What will the “new beginning” look like?

Because my university has to complete its work before the Kentucky Derby (always the first Saturday in May), we begin our third week of classes tomorrow.

When I did this exercise on my own for publication in 2001, I didn’t anticipate 9/11 (“I do not address a litany of other potentially meaningful foreign policy concerns: … [including] terrorism”) or a new Iraq war (“Despite these menacing [campaign] statements and the early attack [bombings to enforce the no fly zone in February 2001], it seems unlikely that Iraq will be the foreign policy centerpiece of Bush II.”).

This time, I’m looking for wisdom in the crowd.