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.

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Tom W
Tom W
15 years ago

With apologies to Pete Townsend:
Meet the new boss,
Same as the old boss,
We just got fooled again!

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
15 years ago

People forget Obama is a Chicago machine politician-he has to take care of all the former Clinton people who came to his support in the primary campaign.
Another thing-Obama developed an awesome campaign staff-they did something no one would have thought possible two years ago.They toppled the anointed nominee and got a Black man elected President.Problem is,a campaign staff is not also a governing staff.Obama’s previous positions did not require him to assemble one.Now he needs to,and fast.So he takes whoever is on the shelf that he thinks can step right in and start on Day One.He has co-opted the Clinton machine and maybe even Clinton herself.Only Bill Clinton stands in his way if Hillary becomes his subordinate at State,and Bill Clinton is not the picture of health.
On a technical level,you have to admire his ability to organize a team in an ad hoc manner.

15 years ago

Why is anyone surprised at Obama filling in positions with Clinton retreads? I wish I could dig up an old email that I sent a friend shortly after Obama and Hillary had a private sitdown, just days short of his nomination by the DNC.
What I said was this: It was apparent that the DNC thought Obama to have the better momentum. The DNC, Clintonistas and Obama camp agreed that Hillary would bow out of contention, the DNC would nominate Obama, Hillary would receive a high profile position in the Obama administration if elected and if not, she’d receive the 2012 DNC nod.
In agreement to this, the Clintonistas would garner unlimited funds (Sorros and China anyone?) and unlimited and slanted press. Murdoch anyone?
Actually, in all reality, this bodes better for Americans than Obama’s senseless campaign promises. Heaven forbid if he ever gets to fulfill them.
It also bodes well for a conservative America in 2012. That’s if we can get 150 million voters to get back in grade school and finish this time.

15 years ago

Justin said:
“Obama’s executive branch beginning to look a lot like an executive committee of the legislature”
Though you put it as a question, I will treat it as an observation.
Yeap, I agree. He is confusedly behaving as a prime minister, already.
It is a change, but not one to believe in.
VDH said:
“[Elected] without much experience, and without friends or advisors he could draw upon who were qualified for office and worldly about Washington’s macabre politics [Obama’s] sudden reliance on a primary rival’s team [is] ipso facto an illustration of Obama’s thinner political resum√©.”
These are the ones we’ve been waiting for.
Or as the song goes, “If you can’t be with the ones you love, love the ones you’re with.”

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