One after another, we are learning the names of the future Obama Administration. Behold, they are not new faces, nor are they the change agents that Obama’s campaign rhetoric promised. Instead, we are seeing Clinton retreads and a surprising move toward the political center. Rather than the far left team of new faces and new politics that the President-elect’s supporters dreamed about when they cast their ballots for the “change” they could believe in, we are seeing familiar faces and experienced pols. More than a few Obama fans are experiencing buyer’s remorse as they discover that “The One” seems to be abandoning them and their policies.
When confronted with the far left’s disappointment over the first appointments to be announced, one of the Transition team members responded, “An Obama White House will be focused on meeting the next challenge, not winning the next election.”
Well, that response does not pass the laugh test! Or perhaps the correct translation is, “We’re so sure we’ll win the next election, we don’t even have to take that into consideration.”
Clearly, Obama intends to be more than a one-term president; even before his Inauguration, he is already starting his next campaign. He is putting his chief competition, Senator Hillary Clinton, safely inside his camp and working to dispel any evidence that he is an extremist. Rather than come in and clean house, the President-elect seems to be embracing politics as usual.
The “insult” added to previous “injury” came with an announcement over the weekend that Obama’s White House will continue the political office that was held by Karl Rove in the Bush White House. During his campaign, of course, Mr. Obama vowed to keep politics out of the White House. He criticized the Bush Administration for its partisanship and accused President Bush of running a “perpetual campaign.” The Obama Administration, he promised, would end what he called “politics as usual.”
But he is appointing the usual – a bevy of inside-the-beltway politicians.
Thus far, there are no new faces and no one who will obviously push for new policies. Eric Holder (nominee for Attorney General) and Rahm Emanuel (Chief of Staff) bring lots of Clinton-era baggage; Tim Gaithner (Treasury Secretary) is part of New York’s big-money establishment. Tom Daschle, (HHS Secretary) is welded into the Senate’s good ‘ole boy network. Further, Obama helped to protect Joe Lieberman’s Senate committee chairmanship even though Lieberman crossed party lines to actively campaign for John McCain. The leftist Bible, The Nation, noted recently that "not a single, solitary, actual dyed-in-the-wool progressive” has even been mentioned for the Obama Cabinet.