November 24, 2008

How Tricky Can This Satellite Stuff Really Be?
12:00 AM

You know what the federal government needs right now? A bunch of Bush appointees without any sort of scientific background getting slotted in key science-related civil service positions, that's what: In one recent example, Todd Harding -- a 30-year-old political appointee at the Energy Department -- applied for and won a post this month at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. There, he told colleagues in a Nov.

Transition News 11/24
12:00 AM

Obama officially introduces his economic team. On the economic team, Rubinomics rules-with adjustments. Bush tax cuts might remain in place until 2011. WSJ asks, will Obama reappoint Bernanke? Politico assesses Geithner's pending confirmation hearing--and what one would have been like for Summers. Vilsack says he won't be agriculture secretary. WaPo reports on Obama's uphill battle to keep his education promises. How Obama could still win the war on drugs. What influence could Brent Scowcroft have in the new administration? --Seyward Darby

Rice And Lake, Mia?
12:00 AM

With the top two positions at state and the national security advisor job nearly locked in, it's interesting that the two senior people on Obama's foreign policy campaign team--Susan Rice and Anthony Lake--don't seem to have been in the (public) mix for tippy-top national security jobs. Regarding Lake, people have said for a while that he might not be interested in rejoining government. (The Times of London says that Lake "didn't want" the SecState job--though I haven't seen that replicated by any U.S.

Citi Never Sleeps; Neither Can Any Of Its Shareholders
12:00 AM

Maybe I'm jealous that Citigroup didn't include The New Republic on the list of publication in which it had placed full-page advertisements telling the public "why now, more than ever, you can be confident that Citi never sleeps."  The I'm looking at now is in Sunday's New York Times.  But I've seen the same ad in a few other newspapers (including my home-town sheet, the Boston Globe).  I assume this is a cross-country effort.  The advertisement is roughly 150 words.  It tells you that it is "using our global presence, knowledge and expertise, along with almost 200 years of experience, to ris

Some Final Backstory On Geithner
12:00 AM

I've tried to lay out the reasons why Obama would want Tim Geithner as his Treasury secretary. Now that the day of the big announcement is here, I figured I'd address the "how" of it, too. My sense is that two Obama transition officials--Michael Froman and, to a lesser extent, Sonal Shah--played important roles. Froman, a friend of Obama's from law school, started off as an economic aide in the Clinton White House, then became a deputy assistant secretary on Treasury's international side around the same time Geithner was promoted to a similar position.

November 22, 2008

The Case For Urgency
12:00 AM

st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } Over the last two weeks, TNR's managing editor Richard Just and TNR's legal affairs editor Jeffrey Rosen have been debating the appropriate lessons to draw from the passage of Proposition 8. Rosen started the argument here, and then they went back and forth here and here. What follows is the final installment.Dear Jeff,Thanks for your response.

Ellen Moran: The Obama-clinton Thaw Continues
12:00 AM

Today Barack Obama announced his White House communications team: Ellen Moran as communications director, Robert Gibbs as press secretary, and Dan Pfeiffer as Moran's deputy. Gibbs and Pfeiffer were core members of Obama's campaign media team, so no shock there. But the name of Moran, a longtime Democratic operative who since 2005 has been executive director of the pro-choice fundraising group Emily's List, comes as a surprise. Unlike the others, she's not a member of Obama's inner circle and played no role in his campaign.

Obama Makes Another Exception For Hillary
12:00 AM

This nugget from today's Times story on Obama and Hillary is interesting: Two advisers to Mrs. Clinton said she was concerned about establishing her role in the administration before agreeing to the job. She wanted assurances that she would have direct access to Mr. Obama and not need to go through a national security adviser, they said.

Hillary And The Ghost Of Albright
12:00 AM

Some interesting context when envisioning Hillary at State. She is extremely close to her husband's last Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright. Many reliable accounts ID her as the person who convinced her husband to name Albright to the job in 1997. In 1996 the Times had a very entertaining account of how the two bonded on a  trip to Prague: Under a warm late-afternoon sun, two middle-aged American women in smart pants suits slip out of their Prague hotel and stroll across Old Town Square.

Why The Geithner Pick Is Even Better Than You Think
12:00 AM

A few weeks ago, I wrote a profile of Tim Geithner that explored his relationship with Larry Summers during their eight years together at Treasury in the 1990s. The two men had formed such a productive partnership that I wondered if there were some way of reuniting them under Obama.