Liveblogging Obama’s New Team

Obama now taking questions.

Some tough questions on why he chose Hilary after criticizing her on the campaign trail.  I think Obama did ok and kept it presidential. One wishes he would say, “I think we know that Hilary and I see eye to eye on most things, but campaigning is campaigning and governing is governing.”  But you can’t say stuff like that as President.

Obviously, I’m intensely biased but there’s a greater sense of leadership on things like the India crisis.  Part of it is having a greater commanded of the English language.  It matters greatly to have a President who doesn’t fear questions from the media.  The presidential rhetoric is already so focused on “rebuiling alliances” and “military and diplomacy” and “regaining American leadership in all it’s dimensions.”

“I assembled this team because I’m a strong believer in strong personalities and strong opinions.  There’s a danger in “groupthink”, but understand I will be setting policies as President.”

If there’s one thing you can say about this group  it’s that their short in physical stature, but long in professional experience.  I know Rumsfeld was small but Gates seemed like a midget next to Obama.  Napolitano is tiny, but Susan Rice barely reached the microphones.  Probably a good quality in a UN Ambassador.  But General Jones of course helps raise the average height.  He’s out of central casting

I’m listening to Hilary Clinton speak and struck by the fact that I turned the television on this morning.  Certainly nice to feel more engaged.  Obama’s vetting process appears to be overly throrough and gives us hope that the first 100 days and beyond will not be tarnished by scandal. Top line thoughts:

Clinton:  She’s impressive and has a similar temperament to Obama.  Calmer than her husband.  I think she has great gravitas and a thoughtful husband as an advisor.  I do worry that she ran an uneven and power-seeking campaign, but hopefully she realizes this is a coda to her career and is comfortable with that.

Gates:  He was brief.    Kind of a no-nonsense approach.

Holder:  Now I’m starting to feel (as I’m supposed to) that this stuff is all kind of canned.  Nice that he mentions state and local law enforcement.  Perhaps he and Napoltinao will be able to acheive better alignment among Federal/State officials and the myriad of agenices.

Napolitano:  Like the gray streak in the hair.  Like that’s she’s a state official. Hope the first order of business is to get NYC more federal funding at the expense of the states in the west who don’t need money.

Rice:  Solid, personal speech. Will she be able to improve our stature in the UN after a series of disasters?  She does not have tough acts to follow.

Jones:  Few words.  Challenging Job.  The only military man or woman on the team.

Biden:  I hope they find a way to get him involved.  His speech seems sort of after-the-fact and not that interesting.  I just want to hear Obama answer some questions.

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One Response

  1. I enjoy Obama teasing the media back. The media has overplayed all the Bill Clinton Administration connections and not putting the Obama-Clinton attacks on each other in context. Nor did they probe on what the nature of the Bill Clinton disclosures will be.
    I’m old enough to have worked with Susan Rice’s mother in the LBJ and Carter Administrations. I was part of a group that met with Rice in the campaign. Leaving her office was her mother who greeted me warmly. It was worth a few points with Susan Rice that was more memorable for me than her.
    Napolitano gets high marks for warding off as Governor the “know nothing” attacks from xenophobic immigrant haters. She didn’t surrended to them politically and successfully thwarted their efforts. She had the added burden of an extreme Maricioa County (Phoenix) sheriff.
    Hold off on scandal. Holder, and the Rich pardon, and other matters dealing with some of his representations, will make for a possible lively confirmation hearings. Many liberals will want to avoid these issues. But this liberal won’t.

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