Fareed Zakaria: 'I Piss People Off on All Sides'

The May issue of Playboy seems unusually concerned with international affairs. First there’s the photo spread “The Women of Putin’s Russia,” which offers a breezy one-paragraph summary of the Cold War that concludes, “But enough politics. Better to turn to Russia’s best asset: its women.” Nine pages of photos follow.

But the really hot stuff can be found in the Playboy Interview with Fareed Zakaria, Newsweek‘s foreign policy master.

In the wide-ranging interview conducted by David Sheff, Zakaria covers a lot of terrain, including his pick for the next president: “I would support Clinton, but I am hoping for Obama… We need to make broad changes, and Obama represents this.” As for the other side of the aisle, Zakaria says, “I think the Republicans have gone crazy, frankly, though John McCain is the one I admire most. He’s quite old, though, and seems heavily influenced by neoconservative writings on foreign policy, which gives me pause.”

He also explains why Newsweek, that doctor’s-waiting-room staple, suits him: “I never enjoyed the parlor game of intellectual name-dropping and long, meandering New York Review of Books pieces in which you try to impress everybody with your erudition.”

As for his own possible political aspirations, Zakaria bats away the long-running rumors that he could become some president’s secretary of state:

People who have speculated [on cabinet appointments] don’t understand the process. They don’t understand the enormous weight loyalty has in these situations. I can’t be on a team; it’s the nature of my profession. I have to be independent. I piss people off on all sides. Part of my job is not to be partisan. I call things as I see them, which disqualified me from politics.


Fareed Zakaria: 'I Piss People Off on All Sides'