Friday, November 21, 2008

Revenge of the Bubba?

Obama Throws No Bones to Progressive Base.

That's what MR over at TP opines in this article.

"When is Obama going to appoint someone who reflects the progressive base that brought him to the White House?

He won the crucial Iowa caucuses on the strength of his anti-Iraq War stance, and many progressive peace and justice activists worked hard for him against John McCain.

So why in the world is he choosing Hillary Clinton to be Secretary of State when she was one of the loudest hawks on Iraq and threatened to obliterate 75 million Iranians?

And it’s not just Hillary.

Obama’s OMB pick, Peter Orzag, is a Clintonite disciple of Robert Rubin.

Obama’s AG pick, Eric Holder, is a Clintonite who represented Chiquita Bananas.

And Larry Summers’s name is still being bandied about for Treasury, even though Summers, while Clinton’s Treasury Secretary, forced the deregulation of our financial markets and imposed disaster capitalism on Russia.

Worse still, heading Obama’s transition team on intelligence matters are two former deputies to George Tenet, of all people."

Disaster capitalism? WAA!

Plus, the anti-war crowd is none too happy with THE ONE & fears that Obama may be a hawk in sheep’s clothing.

But, wait. There's more!

Greg Craig, Obama's White House Counsel, is Clintonista re-tread best known for defending John Hinckley, the man who shot President Reagan; heading up President Bill Clinton’s impeachment defense (he lost); advising Ted Kennedy's nephew in his rape case; and selling out Elian Gonzalez & his father to Janet Reno's storm troopers & Castro.

Hope n change smells a lot like 'Revenge of the Bubba'.

Obama Draws Heavily on Clinton Era and Congress for Appointees; Daschle Gets HHS.

"WASHINGTON -- President-elect Barack Obama campaigned on the slogan of "change." But his early appointees, including two top choices that emerged Wednesday, show that experience is one of his main criteria.

His choice for secretary of Health and Human Services, officials said, is former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, who has a long Washington résumé. Jacob Lew, one of President Bill Clinton's budget directors, is favored to direct the National Economic Council.

The latest transition news highlighted the three personnel pools supplying Mr. Obama with his picks. Most prominent are Clinton administration veterans -- including, possibly, former first lady Hillary Clinton for secretary of state. Some high-profile appointments are also long-serving members and staff from Capitol Hill. Then there are the influential Chicagoans -- a group that seems smaller than the hometown crowd that usually accompanies a new president to Washington.

Linking them all is Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, who has played prominent roles in each group.

Each day brings news of more Clinton veterans at the helm, which is perhaps natural, given that many Democrats with the experience necessary for a top job worked in that administration at some point.

On Wednesday, the transition office announced that the working groups reviewing agency issues would include Carol Browner, Mr. Clinton's longtime Environmental Protection Agency administrator, and Dan Tarullo, a Clinton assistant secretary of state and deputy White House assistant for economic policy.

The two leaders of the national-security working group are James Steinberg, a Clinton deputy national security adviser, and Susan Rice, a Clinton assistant secretary of state. Ron Klain, a top aide to Vice President Al Gore, will be Vice President-elect Joe Biden's chief of staff.

In addition, the transition office officially announced Wednesday that Gregory B. Craig, Mr. Clinton's impeachment lawyer, would be White House counsel. The newly announced White House staff secretary, Lisa Brown, was Mr. Gore's counsel.

On top of that, Clinton veterans have been picked or are under consideration for at least three top cabinet posts. Transition officials say Eric Holder, deputy attorney general at the Justice Department under Mr. Clinton, will be named to the top Justice post. In addition to Mrs. Clinton at State, Lawrence Summers is under consideration for a second tour as Treasury secretary.

"Bringing change to Washington means more than what's on a résumé," said transition spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter. "It means putting the most qualified and experienced team in place to implement the policies that President-elect Obama has outlined that will change the country."

Other picks are coming from Capitol Hill, building a bridge to the lawmakers whom Mr. Obama will need to pass his agenda.

Mr. Daschle is the most prominent example. Atop HHS, he is expected to play an important role in moving Mr. Obama's ambitious health-care agenda through Congress. He was an early backer of Mr. Obama during the primaries, and served as a key adviser though the campaign.

As a veteran of Washington and of Capitol Hill, Mr. Daschle brings knowledge about how to move legislation through Congress. He has a particular interest in health care and is co-author of a book published this year, "Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis." The former South Dakota senator left the Senate after losing a race for a fourth term in 2004.

Mr. Daschle's chief of staff from his days as Senate majority leader, Pete Rouse, will also be in the White House as a senior counsel. Phil Schiliro, a longtime aide to Rep. Henry Waxman with deep respect in Congress, will lead outreach efforts to the Hill.

The Chicago circle bears little resemblance to the teams that Presidents George W. Bush brought in from Texas, Bill Clinton from Arkansas and Jimmy Carter from Georgia. Those presidents were former governors, and had large cadres of state-level aides to draw from. Mr. Obama, by contrast, has just a handful of key political advisers.

David Axelrod, a Chicago political consultant and the Obama campaign's message meister, will be a senior White House adviser, the transition officially announced Wednesday. Valerie Jarrett, a Chicago businesswoman and close friend of Mr. Obama and future first lady Michelle Obama, will be another senior adviser.

Grumbling over the lack of "change" is coming from the left and the right. Conservative blogger Michelle Malkin has posted mocking pictures of the Clintonites populating the Obama White House and transition team. Writer and filmmaker Lee Stranahan, writing on the liberal Huffington Post, was moved Wednesday to defend Mr. Obama for his peace overtures to the Clintons. "Some of my fellow progressives," he wrote, "may find it ironic that Hillary Clinton -- who wrote most of the script for the McCain attacks on Barack Obama -- might end up as secretary of State if she decides to."

Write to Laura Meckler at and Jonathan Weisman at

'Let's do the time warp, again' is not change; it's nostalgia. This will either be a brilliant political cabal, or a world class fustercluck for the history books.

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