19 Jan 2009

Guantanamo down to 60 'within weeks'

So I was out late last night here in Washington. Two parties a night for two nights have taken their toll, but not without reward.

At the British embassy bash I run into Obama’s new attorney general, Eric Holder. Tall, aquiline, confident – and extremely personable. We talk Guantanamo, inevitably. He thinks they will be down to 60-70 hardcore inmates within a matter of months, if not weeks.

An hour later I am at the Slate.com party. There, just inside the door, leaning on the wall, is Obama’s chief economic adviser, Larry Summers. He delighted in exercising his awareness and contact with British politics, intrigued to know about the latest bank bailout news.

In the corner, a familiar face. Argh! What’s his name? I’ve interviewed him enough. Handsome of countenance, strong jaw… Oh yes, David Frum, the man thought to have coined the concept “axis of evil”. But Frum is in full retreat, telling me he had the misfortune to be a presidential speech writer but didn’t like what he achieved. Is this an insight into that famed positional readjustment that sweeps Washington ahead of “regime change”?

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