November 05, 2008
Regrets, I Have A Few
For anyone who has ever felt--because of race, gender, sexual orientation, or class--like an "other," last night was a triumphant night. But as I watched the jubilant crowds in Grant Park, the impromptu celebrations in front of the White House, and the tearful embraces in churches and bars across America, I couldn't help but feel a little sad that this political season has been so disappointing for women. While Barack Obama succeeded in running a post-racial campaign, neither of the two women candidates succeeded in running a post-gender one.
From Boston Celtics point guard Rajan Rondo's blog: I just got back in the locker room. We just got the W in Houston, and I had to blog. OBAMA IS THE PRESIDENT! I can't even explain how I feel right now. All I have to say is that we have to repeat, because we have to go back to the White House to meet Obama. I don't really care about the Celtics. But I do think there'd be a very nice symmetry if next April, one year after scrimmaging with them in Chapel Hill, Obama could welcome the UNC basketball team to the White House to celebrate their 2008-2009 national championship.
Dan Schnur is the Director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at the University of Southern California. He served as national communications director for John McCain's 2000 presidential campaign. Both Barack Obama and John McCain sounded all the right notes last night, sending a strong message to their respective groups of supporters of the need to put the election behind them. Now it gets harder. McCain returns to the Senate, where he will begin writing the last chapter of his long career in politics and public service.
Just when I thought I could ignore polls for a while. From my inbox: Gallup Daily will track the new administration's progress with new daily measures on the state of the nation, favorability of president-elect Obama and vice president-elect Biden, Americans' optimism about the new administration, and job approval of the new president. --Michael Crowley
If I've already missed this analysis, please excuse. But can someone (Eve? Crowley?) explain to me the logic behind Rahm's accepting the post as Obama's Chief of Staff? I get why Obama would offer the job. Despite the personality issue, Rahm has his obvious charms. But what's in this arrangement for Rahm? Sure, the guy likes power. But he already did his stint as a top-tier White House player more than a decade ago. And, not to psychoanalyze, but Rahm has always struck me as the kind of guy with a big-swinging...ego...
David Kusnet was chief speechwriter for former President Bill Clinton from 1992-1994. He is the author of Love the Work, Hate the Job: Why America’s Best Workers Are Unhappier than Ever.
Barack Obama, An American Story
Barack Obama's campaign began with lofty appeals to idealism, as he called upon supporters to build a movement that could change the way we relate to each other. It ended with a series of concrete, pedestrian promises, as Obama vowed to deliver jobs, health care, and lower prices at the pump. But tonight in Chicago, standing before a crowd of cheering throngs in Grant Park, Obama rediscovered his former self. Conjuring up the old language of idealism, and reaching out to his vanquished opponent, Obama renewed his plea for unity and common purpose.
In a reflection of the emotional power of his victory speech, Obama seems to have won over perhaps the biggest curmudgeonon in political punditry, the retiring Fox News anchor Brit Hume, a man who sometimes seems capable of telling a little girl the tooth fairy is a big fraud. Not tonight: "Tonight is a night of victory and of hope, and all seems possible. It really seems possible that this remarkable man will be someone truly and remarkably different, who can lift us out of the partisan differences that divide us...
November 04, 2008
If Barack Obama wins the presidency, I don’t know who he is going to put in his cabinet, but I have some recommendations for how he should go about choosing people. My assumption is that he will face unprecedented challenges (a downturn, a financial crisis, two wars) and opportunities (a large Democratic majority, discredited opposition in Congress and on K Street). At the same time, he can expect this opposition to do whatever it thinks is necessary to block his initiatives.
The Bradley Effect. “God damn America!” “Kill him!” “Why can’t he close the deal?” “Isn’t he a Muslim?” The “terrorist fist jab.” The New Yorker cover. Michelle’s chimerical “whitey” speech. After all of the aggrieved musings and smug insistences, the deal is done. And now, let’s celebrate. Don’t talk about how Obama didn’t win by enough points. Okay: There are whites out there who didn’t vote for him because of, or partly because of, his color. We heard all about them in a thousand earnest newspaper and magazine articles all summer and fall. We were told to worry. We did.