Ideological Ends, Pragmatic Means

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: Nov 20, 2008 10:10 PM

This AP piece just points out what should be obvious to everyone by now -- that Barack "Change you can believe in" Obama has been filling the top ranks of his administration with Clinton era and/or beltway insiders.

What should, of course, be obvious is that such a move is probably necessary for a relative novice like President-elect Obama.  If he chose to surround himself with people who are as lacking in national experience as he is, the results would resemble . . . well, the Carter administration.

Obama is a true ideological believer when it comes to the ends he wants to pursue, but he's a hard core pragmatist about the means for achieving them.  If a certain frisson of excitement is lost among his liberal base when they learn that the West Wing will be filled with a bunch of retreads, no doubt he figures that's a trade-off everyone will be willing to make, so long as the results are worth it.  And make no mistake -- he's committed to making sure the results are worth it, at least for those on the left.