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Posts Tagged ‘Cabinet

Robert Reich: Never Approached For Obama Cabinet Post

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After the Judd Gregg and Daschle false-starts, it appears Obama has two more chances to fill a cabinet post with someone who is not a high-powered centrist insider. The silence surrounding any mention of Robert Reich for a cabinet position with the Obama administration has been deafening to many progresssives,

Reich gave a spirited endorsement of Obama in April of last year and is a perfect choice for the Commerce or HHS positions, an emminently qualified, insightful, forward-thinking voice in stark contrast to the rest of the middle-of-the roaders around the cabinet table.

I emailed Robert Reich to ask him whether he’d been approached by the new administration and received the following response;

I have neither been approached about, nor have I sought, a cabinet
position in the Obama administration.

When one of the most innovative and progressive policy-makers in the US today is passed over by the Obama administration, it’s a fact that speaks volumes about the superficiality of Obama’s call for change.

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Written by coolrebel

February 15, 2009 at 7:01 pm

Bush Laterals to Obama. Mid-East Peace

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don't fumble my legacy, dude

don't fumble my legacy, dude

Among all the other total disasters Bush is handing over to Obama is the small matter of finding peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But the current attacks on Gaza are part of an old school of thought. The future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will have a completely new landscape.

Benny Morris, a prominent historian of Israeli History wrote a superb primer on Israel’s current predicament in the New York Times. To sum it up, Israel faces unconventional enemies in both Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Hamas in Gaza, as well as the looming threat of Iran’s nuclear ambitions, and the demographic ticking time bomb of the increasingly radicalized and fast growing Arab-Israeli population that is likely to outnumber the Israeli Jews by 2040 or 2050. Read the rest of this entry »

Why Did Obama Bypass Robert Reich?

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what am i, chopped liver?

what am i, chopped liver?

Of all the cabinet choices that Obama didn’t make, there are a few that really stick out. Not choosing Bill Richardson at State after he had switched loyalties from the Clinton camp early in the game and delivered a big jolt of legitimacy to the Obama team is one, but at least he got a job – if not the one he wanted. The big and potentially most worrying missing name from Obama’s line-up is Robert Reich. Now, it’s very possible that Reich said he wasn’t interested, that he preferred being an academic and a commentator, but it’s also possible he was left out in the cold.

If the latter is indeed true, it would be a very worrying sign for the economic path Obama is likely to take. Reich is the most reasonable, sensible, honest, straightforward and intelligent guy who wasn’t chosen to steer the economy. He knows the mistakes that were made, he saw them coming a mile off, and unlike Tim Geithner, he has no role whatsoever in the disaster that has befallen us. His only ‘crime’ maybe that he is seen as too ‘progressive’, and might ‘scare Wall Street’ (not that Wall Street’s opinion is worth a bucket of spit). Read the rest of this entry »

Obama versus his Cabinet

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glazed_maple_kitchen_cabinets_1

eahhh. i've seen better.

So what exactly is Obama thinking with his cabinet picks?

Everyone from Joe Lieberman to Pat Buchanan is delighted with Obama’s top job choices. Joe says they’re “perfect”, which suggests Obama is doing something very, very wrong. Pundits are torn. Is Obama a closet centrist who sold us a bill of goods with all that ‘change’ stuff? Or is he a progressive who’s going to browbeat all his experienced Clintonians into doing his bidding.

My guess is the answer is neither. Obama said today that the ‘change’ is going to come from his desk and filter downwards, but that’s easier said than done. If Obama truly is a progressive (and he really needs to be to define this historical economic moment), a more likely outcome is that the cabinet could quickly descend into ideological squabbling as the President talks up real change, and the cabinet talk up real caution. Obama is known as a consensus builder. If the cabinet is moderate, the consensus will be moderate, and real ‘change’, well that will have to wait.

It would certainly help the President’s ‘change scenario’ that at least one of his major cabinet picks was someone, well, new. But there isn’t really one guy in the top team that offers a totally new perspective on anything at all. So far moderation and predictability has been the order of the day, except in the case of HRC for State, which strikes me more as either fear or plain stupidity.

Time will tell, of course. But there’s one word that definitely wouldn’t be used to describe the new cabinet.

And that’s transformative.

Obama and His “Team of Rivals”. Necessary?

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abraham-lincoln-625

he did good

President Elect Obama is a big fan of Abraham Lincoln. He’s not alone. One would be hard-pressed to find someone who wasn’t. In the last few days Lincoln has become famous for creating a “Team of Rivals” made up of his former adversaries to face the looming crisis of secession head on. It was all documented in Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book called…. “Team Of Rivals”. Lincoln’s decision to invite his adversaries into his administration enabled him to create the unity he needed to face the crisis. History has shown it was a great move. But as we face our own, not quite so existential, crisis in 2008, would it be the right move now? The answer is – no.

If Obama were to actually invite a large number of contrarian opinions into his cabinet and inner circle, it would, in my view, be a very bad idea. The reason is simple. In economic, environmental, welfare and foreign policy, we already know full well what needs to be done to salvage the country’s future. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by coolrebel

November 16, 2008 at 10:10 pm