Tuesday, November 18, 2008

JUST A QUICK THOUGHT

If I haven't said it already, just a reminder for those worried about Obama's picks for various positions in the cabinet and elsewhere in the administration.

From my perspective, it seems obvious that he is trying to avoid the mistakes of both Carter and Clinton, the two most recent Democratic presidents, as well as obviously the mistakes of the present administration.

Carter came to DC as an outsider and brought his own team with him who, unfortunately, weren't experienced or even well-schooled in the ways of the Congress and the various federal agencies and departments. They were bright, amazingly well intentioned and even in some ways idealistic. And they got their butts kicked by the oldtime pols and longtime DC and federal government insiders. Even sabatoged by a lot of those folks.

Clinton came in a little more knowledgable and with a team much more so. But they underestimated the Republican opposition and growing propaganda arm, used so well to keep a health care plan from succeeding. And then had to make too many concessions to the Republicans to get anything done at all.

Obama seems to be preparing a team that has some federal government experience, most often from the Clinton years, (ala his pick for Attorney General), whose experience he can use to his ends. And remember, they will all serve at his discretion, which they and he both know very well.

If, for instance, Hilary becomes Secratary of State (if they can work out the Bill Clinton obstacles to that) she will be getting a more powerful position than a junior Senator with little actual power in Congress, and Obama will have eliminated a Senator with greater ambitions who might find some satisfaction in opposing him on some of his agenda she doesn't agree with, whereas in the Secratary of State position, she brings to it her worldwide recognition for toughness, intelligence, experience, and independence, while at the same time knowing full well that at any time Obama can replace her, so her voice will be heard but his agenda will be followed.

He's disarming, as I see it, his most visible opposition from the primaries and the election, so that they'll either be working for him or marginalized. Smart. Even his pushing to let Lieberman keep his chairmanship of the Homeland Security Committee in the Senate is pretty smart. He's shown his graciousness and forgiveness, leaving Lieberman in his debt, and if Lieberman should choose to not show his gratitude by following Obama's agenda, he will alienate the only champion he has right now in the Democratic Party and then lose his chairmanship.

Obama has obviously, as everyone points out, followed Lincoln's lead in embracing his enemies and keeping them near where he can keep an eye on them as well as use their better ideas and their experience to his ends. I love this guy.

7 comments:

AlamedaTom said...

Excellent analysis, Lal. With regard to your thoughts on Lieberman, here is a twist you may not thought of:

Sure, Barack wanted to keep Jiltin' Joe in the demo caucus, but Obama is even smarter than that. Remember who Joe was risking it all for: John McCain. And remember that before McCain totally whored himself out to the right wing of the Republican party, he actually was a pretty decent guy (anti-torture, pro environment, etc), and often a legitimate maverick. So, let's say that somewhere down the line Barack needs some Republican votes in the Senate on some issue where either the blue dog democrats are not all on board, or Obama is looking for a bigger majority even sixty to sell something like universal heath care where a perception of unity is a tactical must -- a mandate beats a 2/3 majority for governing purposes.

Joe Lieberman owes his ass to Barack right now and he knows it. And Joe is is going to be able to call on his chits from McCain, who in turn can probably bring in more Republicans to achieve greater unity. No chance of such a thing happening if you throw Jiltin' Joe under the bus, right?

I'll bet you any amount of money that Barack has thought this all through, because the dude is astute, pragmatic, and very wise.

~ Willy

harryn said...

right on willy and michael ...

i've been hearing a lot of buzz about obama's choices being too inside the beltway - but where else are you going to find experience and finesse - it ain't business as usual when you depart from cronyism to make full use of the quality that's out there ...

obama's strategies are artful ...

[can't wait to hear jim's twisted propaganda and sore loser diatribe - but in the meantime it's good to hear positive and real] ...

JIm said...

Paul, I just wish Obama and the country the best. Hopefully he makes good choices for the country. There is very little Republicans or Conservatives can do to slow down the Democrats.

How's that for a twisted propaganda, sore loser diatribe?

JIm said...

Daschle for HHS is lovely but where the hell is his treasury secratary and tax policy? Markets were down another 5% today and minus 17% since the election. We need some clarity and fast.

harryn said...

perhaps transcripts from the presiding president bush's economic summit are available from last weekend ...

JIm said...

Interesting! It could start a Constitutional crisis. Why doesn't he just produce the documents?

OBAMA WATCH CENTRAL
Supremes to review Barack's citizenship
Case challenging his name on ballot set for 'conference'

________________________________________
Posted: November 20, 2008
1:10 am Eastern
By Bob Unruh
© 2008 WorldNetDaily
A case that challenges President-elect Barack Obama's name on the 2008 election ballot citing questions over his citizenship
has been scheduled for a "conference" at the U.S. Supreme Court.
Conferences are private meetings of the justices at which they review cases and decide which ones to accept for formal review. This case is set for a conference Dec. 5, just 10 days before the Electoral College is scheduled to meet to make formal the election of Obama as the nation's next president.

harryn said...

the gop campaign should serve to remind everyone that somebody somewhere can usually make something out of nothing - and the results are generally divisive, manipulative, and negative while fostering fear, doubt, and anger ...
that's the way those types operate [squirm] ...