November 06, 2008
The O-List: 11-15
The O-List Intro Essay 1-5 6-10 11-15 16-20 21-25 26-3011. John PodestaPresident and CEO, Center for American ProgressHow convenient that the head of the transition happens to have his own wonk-filled think tank! His Center for American Progress (CAP) has been prepping the talent and white papers for a Democratic administration for the past five years. Though the ex-Bill Clinton chief of staff has said he’ll return to CAP after the transition, he’ll have protégés in every corner of the administration.
Some time last week, as we were putting together our Obama power list, it occurred to me that Obama had a problem: He didn't have anybody around him who had the combination of policy chops, Hill knowledge, and the understanding of how to mobilize voters that he'll need to pass major initiatives like healthcare reform. Some people, like Obama's Senate chief of staff Pete Rouse, know the Hill backwards and forwards. Some, like policy advisers Jason Furman, Heather Higginbottom, and Austan Goolsbee, know their wonkery cold.
Apply For The Cabinet Today
People can apply for jobs with the new Obama administration here. My favorite line is, "Some positions will require Senate confirmation while others will not." So you can apply for treasury or labor secretary online? I'm guessing a lot of people will be disappointed. I wonder what the stock rejection letters will look like. "Thank you for sending in an application for [insert Cabinet post here]. We received many applications, and unfortunately, we cannot offer you the job. We wish you the best of luck in placing yourself within another government entity." --Seyward Darby
Rahmbo, Man Of Comity
The RNC earlier today: "The White House needs a chief of staff--not a chief campaigner like Emanuel. Our nation will be ill-served if Obama runs the White House the way ‘Rahmbo' ran the Democratic Congress." Emanuel in a statement this afternoon: "I want to say a special word about my Republican colleagues, who serve with dignity, decency and a deep sense of patriotism. We often disagree, but I respect their motives" --Seyward Darby
Economic Brain Trust
To start addressing the most pressing issue of the election, and the country's future, Barack Obama and Joe Biden will meet with a transition economic advisory board Friday in Chicago. Some heavyweights on the board include billionaire and legendary investor Warren Buffett, former treasury secretary and Harvard president Lawrence Summers, former labor secretary Robert Reich, and former Fed chairman Paul Volcker. The full board is listed below. Might one of its members become the new treasury secretary?
Has anyone noticed that Arkansas fell to John McCain and is one of only three states that went Republican with a higher margin than when George Bush beat John Kerry. Bush's margin was 10% while McCain's was 20%. Can this have anything to do with Bill Clinton's widely publicized campaigning in what he, "the man from Hope" now the man from Manhattan and Chappaqua, must now think of as Dog Patch. Do you still think Al Gore was wrong not to allow him to put his persona and face all over the 2000 campaign? What are the political consequences of this campaign? Here for starters: 1.
Mr. Axelrod Goes To Washington
After weeks of speculation about where he might fit into an Obama administration, it looks like David Axelrod will be joining the president-elect--and his good friend and new White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel--in Washington. Axelrod, who was Obama's chief campaign strategist, will be serving as a senior adviser to the White House, ABC News reports. --Seyward Darby
Only two days after the election and already the daggers are drawn: Henry Waxman's going to challenge John Dingell for the chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Why? Well, Waxman is considerably more aggressive about tackling greenhouse-gas emissions than Dingell, who, after all, represents automakers in Detroit and has long taken a more leisurely approach to climate legislation.
Which Senator holds the most sway over Barack Obama's domestic policy agenda? The answer probably isn't Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy, or even Harry Reid. Instead, as Ezra Klein points out in a lengthy feature piece today, it's probably Max Baucus. Baucus is chairman of the Senate Finance Commitee, whose jurisdiction includes virtually any legislation that requires raising or lowering taxes. Middle class tax cuts. Universal health insurance. Cap-and-trade.
November 05, 2008
And Now, The Hard Part
WASHINGTON -- The social coalition put together by Barack Obama signifies a political realignment that may well have replaced the one that started with Richard Nixon, reached its zenith with Ronald Reagan and appears to have expired with George W. Bush. Whether Obama's coalition is long-lasting or ephemeral will depend on how he himself interprets it.