Obama made it clear today that he considers the U.N. vital to his foreign policy agenda: he's restoring the U.N. post to a cabinet level position, as it was under President Clinton, and he's sending one of his most trusted advisors to fill it. Obama said Susan Rice understands the importance of global institutions that work. Susan Rice underscored those points in her own remarks today. Rice's former colleagues describe her as brilliant, principled, and forceful. This former Clinton administration official says Rice will be a terrific U.N. ambassador. Rice is an authority on both peacekeeping and Africa and is known for advocating humanitarian intervention in places like Darfur. This former Clinton administration official is thrilled to see someone he considers an ally representing the U.N. post. He is especially hopeful about changing Darfur and says Susan Rice has extensive experience negotiating with Sudan's government. But this analyst expresses some caution and says Rice's rhetoric isn't that different from Bush's rhetoric but the question is whether the Obama administration can actually effect changes. That could turn out to be true but today at least Obama sent the message that he has a top notch national security team ready to meet its challenges.