Sunday, November 23, 2008

Change we can believe in?

Back in December of last year, candidate Barack Obama said, "The real gamble in this election is playing the same Washington game with the same Washington players and expecting a different result."

Yet, as the president-elect's appointments make news, we are hearing about seeing a bunch of old Washington players back in government.

As National Review notes:
The cabinet names we are hearing:

Potential Secretary of State John Kerry: Elected to the Senate in 1984; served every day since.

Potential Secretary of State Bill Richardson: Elected to the House of Representatives in 1982, served until 1997. Former U.N. Ambassador, Secretary of Energy.

Potential Secretary of State Anthony Lake: Joined the State Department in 1962. Worked in the Carter Administration. Named National Security Adviser in 1993. Nomination to be CIA Director was withdrawn by the Clinton administration. [Sounds like Hillary Clinton, First Lady for 8 years, and senator from New York, will likely be Team Obama's Secretary of State -- not exactly "new blood"].

Potential Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers: Joined the World Bank as chief economist in 1991. Served in Clinton's Treasury Department and actually previously served as Treasury Secretary from 1999 to 2001.

Potential Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin: Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, 1993 to 1995. Treasury Secretary, 1995-1999.

Potential Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner: Joined Kissinger and Associates in 1985; joined the Treasury Department in 1988 and served in various capacities until 2001.

Potential Treasury Secretary Laura Tyson: Chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers from 1993 to 1995; Director of the National Economic Council from 1995 to 1996.

Potential Treasury Secretary Paul Volker: Joined the Treasury Department in 1962; became undersecretary in 1963. Federal Reserve Chairman from 1979 to 1987.

Potential Defense Secretaries: Richard Danzig, Chuck Hagel, former Georgia Sen. Sam Nunn, and former NATO Commander Wesley Clark.

Potential Secretary of Commerce: Harold Ford Jr., congressman from Tennessee from 1997 to 2007.

Potential Secretary of Labor: Dick Gephardt, congressman from Missouri from 1977 to 2005.

Potential Secretary of Transportation: James Oberstar, member of the House of Representatives since 1975.

Potential Secretary of Energy: Ed Markey, member of the House of Representatives since 1976.

Potential Secretary of Veterans Affairs: Max Cleland, administrator for Veterans Affairs from 1977 to 1981, elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996.

Potential National Security Adviser: Susan Rice, member of the National Security Council from 1993 to 1997; assistant Secretary of State from 1997 to 2001.

This is not to say that some of these people wouldn't make good or at least acceptable appointments. (By the standards of Washington, D.C. mayors, potential HUD Secretary Tony Williams is excellent.) This is just to remind people of Obama's statement about "the same Washington players" and to emphasize, once again...

...all statements from Barack Obama come with an expiration date. All of them.
Hmm. Obama is the least experienced president to take office in my lifetime. Not surprising that he would turn to "old hands". It is surprising given his mantra of change. Perhaps NR is not very charitable. But it does give one pause.


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