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Preshow homework: Meet Richard Holbrooke, a 'center of the universe'

Photos by Rebekah Dryden

Photos by Rebekah DrydenToday's preshow reading comes courtesy of Lauren McGaughy, a reporter for the Asahi Shimbun America, who tweeted, "Just saw Rachel #Maddow in the bathroom at the State Dept! Awesome...albeit embarrassing!"She had indeed seen our host, getting ready to interview Richard Holbrooke, the U.S. Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan. McGaughy recommends this Foreign Policy article about Mr. Holbrooke. It asks whether the ambassador is indeed on the way out as Gen. McChrystal's aides told Rolling Stone.The answer appears to be not so fast:

Experts say Holbrooke's long, personal relationship with [Secretary of State Hillary] Clinton affords him a measure of job security. And his involvement in the joint Afghanistan-Pakistan effort to figure out how to engage the Taliban also makes him indispensible in the near term."Holbrooke is very deeply invested in the idea of a reintegration program," said Teresita Schaffer, director of the South Asia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies."He is still the center of the universe on decisions in the U.S. government as far as Pakistan is concerned," Shaffer said.

More pics, after the jump.[Foreign Policy][Lauren McGaughy's take on Mr. Holbrooke]

Rachel laughing as EP Matt Saal shows her the time cues.

NBC producer Courtney Kube.

Before the interview begins.

Hey! It's @newmediajim

The interview.