Although he’s just launched it, writer Allen McDuffee has a fun blog called ThinkTanked that is worth paying attention to.
He has a good roster of the better institutions — although according to a Department of State study done at the direction of then Policy Planning Director and now Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass, there are more than 1,500 think tanks in Washington. Most of them are boutiques and exist more as concepts than working institutions — but the bottom line is that think tanks play a huge role in political and policy work in Washington, and Americans know very little about them.
But some Americans are interested. Just the other night, I met up with an inquisitive Zach Galifianakis at the Bloomberg/Vanity Fair post-WHCA dinner who really wanted to know what think tankers thought about. And he was sincere, which most Americans who ask that question realize soon after they begin to get an answer that they didn’t really want to know.
I am, however, interested in tracking work at other policy institutions and look forward to Allen McDuffee’s coverage — including of the New America Foundation.
– Steve Clemons