Where is Obama's national security adviser? 

Partially obscured: Jones sits to Obama's left   (white house photo)

Something has been missing in the otherwise determined White House public relations response to the Christmas Day attempted bombing incident. What could it be? Oh, right -- Jim Jones, the president's national security adviser.

We don't hear much from Jones, a bit of the odd man out in the Obama administration -- older, not part of the inner circle, with a military background and incongruous dislike for the cameras. The former Marine Corps commandant told the Washington Post in a profile piece in May that he's not a big grandstander.

Jones said he is "not used to being in the center of these things. . . . But if I'm not living up to other people's views of what the national security adviser should look like he's doing . . . like my hair is on fire all the time," so be it.

Hm. Well, anyway -- more often taking center stage for the national security operations is deputy director Denis McDonough, a telegenic silver fox who is used to briefing reporters and is more in line with the "hair on fire" national security model. Since the attempted bombing (and even before then) it's been McDonough making the cable rounds on behalf of the administration.

Ready for his close-up, the newer face of national security.

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Julie Mason

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