TWO HATS. Elisabeth...

TWO HATS. Elisabeth Bumiller's profile of White House Iraq aide Meghan O'Sullivan is another reminder that, though it's impolite and possibly politically counterproductive to say so, the man in charge of this country seems to be a bit dimwitted. His Iraq briefing memos are only three pages long and "written in the crisp, compelling style that the president prefers." O'Sullivan is praised for her ability to "distill a complex mass of developments into something more penetrable" and for being "succinct, unpretentious, full of facts and cheerful � exactly what Mr. Bush likes."

The other thing is that even though the whole article's about Iraq, this isn't her exclusive focus. Instead, her job is "deputy national security adviser for Iraq and Afghanistan." Is there any reason to combine those two jobs? They're different wars happening in different countries. Surely each is important enough to have a separate mid-level staffer as coordinator. The only rationale for collapsing the two jobs would seem to be maintaining the fiction that invading Iraq was, like toppling the Taliban, a straightforward response to 9-11.

--Matthew Yglesias

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