Passport

Another baller joins the cabinet

What does Barack Obama's just-named Education Secretary Arne Duncan have in common with National Security Advisor Jim Jones, Attorney General Eric Holder, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner?

Professional accomplishment? Certainly.

Sound judgement? Possibly.

Most importantly, they're all great basketball players. Even 81-year-old economic advisor Paul Volcker used to play at Princeton.

Duncan has a good shot at being the team's MVP. He was co-captain of the Harvard basketball team and played professionally in Australia:

“I did not select Arne because he’s one of the best basketball players I know,” Mr Obama said yesterday. “Although I will say that I think we are putting together the best basketball-playing cabinet in American history.”

Forget engagement. Obama should just bet Iran's right to a nuclear program on a game of half-court with Ahmadinejad's cabinet.

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Passport

Chris Hill not staying on?

NBC News reports on the status of Christopher Hill, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs and the point man on U.S. negotiations with North Korea:

Hill said today that he has NOT been asked to stay on in an Obama administration. "I haven't talked to anybody about my future," he said in response to a reporter's question about a possible role in the diplomatic corps of the next president, adding wryly, "I do need to figure out what I'm going to do when I grow up." [...]

[Hill] spoke to reporters today in the wake of bad news for the U.S. in six-party talks, which suffered a major setback last week when North Korean negotiators refused to sign on to guidelines for a "verification protocol" that would open up north Korean nuclear facilities to intrusive inspections, including collecting and removing nuclear samples from the country.

Photo: FILE; FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images