Albright, of course, mounted her own campaign for secretary of state from the U.N. post, and the presence at Cabinet level of a respected foreign-policy professional independent of her tutelage may make things a little uncomfortable for the incumbent. "Holbrooke is stepping up to the plate at a time when U.S. foreign policy is under growing criticism for lacking direction," says Dowell. And the U.N. ambassador-nominee isn't known for pulling his punches.
What's good for U.S. foreign policy isn't necessarily good for Madeleine Albright. Richard Holbrooke has agreed to pay an administrative fine in order to allow his nomination as U.N. ambassador to proceed, it was reported Wednesday. "The U.S. has been blindsided at the U.N. and it's widely recognized that we need Holbrooke there," says TIME U.N. correspondent William Dowell. "Madeleine Albright may have cause for concern, however, because Holbrooke is seen as a prime candidate for secretary of state under Al Gore."