Michael McFaul in Moscow
Ambassador McFaul's or Mike's, as friends and colleagues call him, first steps on arrival in Moscow were marked by a mammoth scandal in the media, internet, Duma and elsewhere. However, it is my strong suspicion that Mike felt victim to some intrigues in the higher places in Washington.
McFaul's record is well-known and pretty illustrious: a Stanford man, about the best Slavist and Russian specialist (some say, Russophile) America has to offer, author of numerous monographs on Russia, etc. etc. Politically he is best known - one might say renowned -- as architect of the "reset" policy in the relations between the USA and Russia, President Obama's helpmeet in the difficult task of straightening out those relations that cried to be straightened out.
All that, however, belongs to his life and times before he donned diplomatic togs. As a diplomat, McFaul has to be part of - and be held responsible for - acts and situations for which he would presumably hate to be held accountable. This article is not an attempt to endorse all McFaul views since I often disagreed with him in the past but if one takes into account the current highly negative atmosphere towards Russia in Washington Mike is probably not the worst option.