Change You Can Believe In… Because You’ve Already Seen It
So here comes good ol’ Tom Daschle back to the government, this time in Obama’s cabinet:
Barack Obama is enlisting former Senate leader Tom Daschle as his health secretary, embracing a third Washington insider in the early stages of Cabinet-building by the president-elect who promised change. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the capital’s most famous woman for two decades, seemed ever more likely to be his secretary of state. …
… Daschle stayed in the capital city after his defeat, becoming a public policy adviser and member of the legislative and public policy group at the law and lobbying firm Alston & Bird. Daschle isn’t registered as a lobbyist. He advises clients on issues including health care, financial services and taxes and trade, according to the firm’s Web site.
Health care interests, including CVS Caremark, the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, Abbott Laboratories and HealthSouth, are among the firm’s lobbying clients. …
“It’s a terrific choice,” said Sen. Max Baucus, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. “I am elated. As a former member he certainly knows the Congress, he knows the Senate, he is deeply committed to health care reform.”
Is it me, or is Obama’s executive branch beginning to look a lot like an executive committee of the legislature?
(Biaswatch Bonus: Gotta love an AP report that characterizes Republican comments as “sniping.”)
VDH makes some good points on this:
… given Obama’s absence of executive experience and brief tenure in the Senate, Obama never was in a position to assemble an insider team other than the Chicagoan Axlerod. So what was Obama to do when he needed savvy advisors and a brain trust he could count on from the old days to form the nucleus of his advisors and cabinet?
He could hardly draw on personal friends like Ayers, Khalidi, Pfleger, Rezko, and Wright. Other than Friends of Bill, the last Democrats to be insiders were the Carterites now in their 80s. So if a Democrat were to be elected President without much experience, and without friends or advisors he could draw upon who were qualified for office and worldly about Washington’s macabre politics, who but the Clintonites were there?
This seems to be an unprecedented development entirely neglected by the media, this sudden reliance on a primary rival’s team—ipso facto an illustration of Obama’s thinner political resumé.