The think tank tweet of 2020 goes to Peter Singer, a Strategist & Senior Fellow at New America, who succinctly captured the feeling of all think tankers big and small amid a global pandemic that has temporarily closed the doors of numerous policy shops.
I miss DC thinktank event cookies...— Peter W. Singer (@peterwsinger) December 1, 2020
The humble think tank cookie, while small in size, provides the fuel needed to sustain thousands of policy wonks along with the government officials, consultants, corporate chieftains, students, academics, foreign spies, lobbyists, embassy staffers, and others who cycle in out of the hundreds of US think tanks each day. [Some people speak so fondly of cookies at Brookings that they even have their own name: "Brookies."]
The pandemic may have halted this sacred practice for now, but Think Tank Watch predicts that the think tank event cookie shall return in 2021.
Update: Wyatt Scott of the think tank New America says he ate significantly less cookies from not attending think tank events in 2020. RAND's Jonathan Wong notes that the cookies at RAND's Santa Monica office are baked in-house. Erik Brattberg of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said he always tried to make sure his think tank had nice cookies from Le Pain Quotidien. Apple's Bobby O'Brien said he considered think tank event cookies his salary when he was an intern at the Brookings Institution in 2008. Meanwhile, New America's Kevin Carey says the cookies at American Enterprise Institute (AEI) are the best, even though he "hates" to admit it.
Jordan Schneider, a China expert and Adjunct Fellow at the Center for a New American Security, has noted that the snacks at think tank events in China are far from appealing, but the US mustn't allow China to close the snack gap amid the pandemic. His proposal? A strategic partnership with Insomnia Cookies for remote delivery for the first 50 participants of any Zoom conference.
(Disclaimer: Think Tank Watch does not take donations, but since its inception, it has accepted thousands of think tank cookies from conservative, liberal, and centrist think tanks alike.)