Stephen M. Walt

Who should replace Bill Kristol?

Who should replace Bill Kristol?

Like every fan of good writing, I was delighted to see the New York Times end its experiment with Bill Kristol. Now the question is who the Times will pick to fill the second right-wing slot in its op-ed lineup. Here’s a radical idea: instead of merely duplicating David Brooks, why not hire a realist? As I wrote in Salon back when Kristol was hired, there are plenty of neoconservatives and liberal internationalists writing for today’s op-ed pages, but realists are surpisingly scarce. And I can think of several who would be pretty good at it (no, I don’t mean me).

If the Times doesn’t like that idea, why not look for a conservative voice from overseas? It’s a globalized world, after all, and I’ll bet its readers might appreciate reading a view of the world from outside the parochial confines of the United States. For example, the Times could hire one of the people who write lead editorials for the Economist, or even “Lexington,” the anonymous columnist who covers America for the British-based magazine. Economist columns and editorials are almost always well-informed, sometimes witty, and the prose is a model of laser-like clarity. Could this be one reason why The Economist is making money and the Times isn’t?

Whatever the reason, here’s hoping that the Times’ management does better this time around.

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