Tony Blankley

From The Huffington Post and Daily Kos to National Review and The Washington Times -- and all the mainstream media in between -- commentators are puzzling over who the dickens President-elect Barack Obama really is. On the progressive left, they are beginning to fear he may not be for "redistributive justice." On The Wall Street Journal free market right, they are seeing in his economic team the possibility that he is really as safe for capitalism as a banker. Karl Rove has concluded: "(The) announcement of Mr. Obama's economic team was reassuring. He's generally surrounded himself with intelligent, mainstream advisers."

Those impassioned by the anti-war slogan "no blood for oil" are getting nervous. According to Politico, Jodie Evans -- a CodePink co-founder who, with her husband, helped raise a lot of money for Obama during the primary and general elections -- recalled her interaction with Obama: "It has gotten to the point where he sees me coming and before I am close he just keeps repeating, 'Jodie, I PROMISE, I will end the war, I promise I will end the war.'"

The mainstream media, still warmed by the success of their work electing Obama, comfortably headlined an article on the topic in the National Journal: "THE PRESIDENT-ELECT'S APPOINTMENTS REFLECT HIS CONFIDENCE IN HIS OWN IDIOSYNCRATIC BLUEPRINT AND HIS ABILITY TO HOLD TOGETHER AN ECLECTIC ADMINISTRATION."

It is a pity the conversation about what Obama might actually do as president didn't begin in the media until after the election. But not to worry. As Emma Goldman, a 20th-century anarchist and Marxist, is reputed to have said: "In America, elections are the opium of the people." Well, we have had our fix, no matter how uninformed we were during the injection.

There is something degrading about serious, prominent political people of the left or right (to say nothing of the broader public) being forced to play policy hide-and-seek with the president-elect of the United States. And there is something presumptive about a president-elect who is very satisfied to keep the public guessing about what he stands for and what he plans to do. It is redolent of the most cynical of 19th-century European politics. But if he wants us to play the guessing game, I'll play.

Tony Blankley

Tony Blankley, a conservative author and commentator who served as press secretary to Newt Gingrich during the 1990s, when Republicans took control of Congress, died Sunday January 8, 2012. He was 63.

Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.

In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.

©Creators Syndicate