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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Short Honeymoon

Most President-elects get at least a few weeks in office before they get called out by the media. The AP, at least, has only given Barack Obama a few weeks after his election.

"President-elect promised change, picking insiders" is the top AP news story on the wire this morning. While a lot of folks on the right grumbled about Rahm Emanuel as his Chief of Staff, we probably thought, secretly, that it was a good choice if Obama was going to bring a lot of new blood into the Neophyte House with him.

Instead, his cabinet choices are starting to look like a who's who of Beltway insiders. Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State, Colin Powell (possibly) for Secretary of Education, Tom Daschle as Health and Human Services, and Eric Holder (a good choice, though) as Attorney General.

Many folks will brush off the critism, and compare his cabinet choices to those of George Bush who brought back half of his father and Ronald Reagan's old cabinets. The difference is Bush didn't claim he was going to change the way we do business in Washington, just the tone. His misjudgement was that the Democrats wanted a new tone.

The irony of it is that while many of his friends in Congress are working on the bail-out ideas for the Big 3 they are claiming that without a wholesale change in leadership at those entities it's going to be impossible to make them work right. Barack Obama claimed the same thing about Washington, but is bringing back the same old folks to DC who've help keep it screwed up for the last 2 decades.

So far the only "outside" name to come up as a possible Cabinet member is Penny Pritzker for Secretary of Commerce. Her claim to fame is running Obama's fund raising efforts, and being an heir to the Hyatt Hotels brand. Well, that and running Superior Bank, which lead the way in turning subprime loans into marketable securities. That bank failed with Pritzker and her family at the helm.

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