November 06, 2008
The O-List: 16-20
The O-List Intro Essay 1-5 6-10 11-15 16-20 21-25 26-3016. Dick DurbinSenator, IllinoisIt was telling that Obama asked Durbin to introduce the biggest speech of his career, back in Denver. Along with Claire McCaskill, he is the president's staunchest ally in the Senate, a total loyalist. That's a good thing for Obama, because the well-liked Durbin is the second most powerful Democrat there. Durbin will confront one problem with the Senate Democrats: They all believe they have more experience than that upstart president.17.
The O-List: 1-5
The O-List Intro Essay 1-5 6-10 11-15 16-20 21-25 26-301. David AxelrodChief strategist, Obama campaignAt first, he professed no interest in trailing his guy to Washington. But that’s increasingly hard to believe. Obama’s message manager could follow the Karl Rove path, surrendering his lucrative consulting business for an official post. But he might take the James Carville tack: work for the DNC but be omnipresent in the Oval Office.
DISPUTATIONS: Learning From Prop. 8
In a major setback for gay marriage advocates, California voters passed Proposition 8 on Tuesday. Over the next couple of days, TNR's managing editor Richard Just and TNR's legal affairs editor Jeffrey Rosen will be debating the appropriate lessons to draw from the defeat. Rosen kicks things off below. (Click here for Richard Just's response.) Dear Richard, In our last dialogue on gay marriage in May, I expressed concern that the California Supreme Court’s decision to impose gay marriage by judicial fiat might trigger a backlash that would overturn the decision by popular initiative.
The O-List: 6-10
The O-List Intro Essay 1-5 6-10 11-15 16-20 21-25 26-306. Larry SummersManaging director, D.E. Shaw & Co.The best economic mind in the party, his credibility with the Democratic base has grown in recent months. His must-read columns in the Financial Times have evinced a leftward turn in his thinking. And, unlike Rubin, the financial meltdown actually reflects well upon his last tour in Washington. If Obama doesn’t send him back to Treasury--that job could also go to his protégé, Tim Geithner--he might be called upon to replace Bernanke at the Fed in 2010.7.
Make That a Double
Insight on party decoration, gleaned at 6:30 p.m., 11/4/2008: Abundant balloons, in the absence of abundant human beings, is a real downer. When I arrived at a lobby restaurant in the downtown Los Angeles Marriott, Ohio had just been called for Barack Obama.
America the Polarized
To say my heart isn't fully in the wet-blanket role at this historic moment is an understatement. I spent last night with throngs of people celebrating in the streets where, 40 years ago, storefronts burned in the wake of the King assassination. And I am filled with hope for the possibilities of the next several years. That said, I have to disagree with my friend John B. Judis--last night was not a harbinger of ideological realignment. Progressives would be wise to heed Bill Galston's warning in this week's TNR piece and proceed cautiously.
The O-List: 26-30
The O-List Intro Essay 1-5 6-10 11-15 16-20 21-25 26-3026. Julius GenachowskiCo-founder and managing director, Rock Creek VenturesObama has advisers he trusts deeply (Valerie Jarrett) and ambassadors to the D.C. establishment (Tom Daschle), but precious few people who overlap in these sets. That’s why he needs Harvard Law Review pal and former FCC staffer Genachowski, who’s been a key adviser and fund-raiser since the start of Obama’s political career.
The O-List: 21-25
The O-List Intro Essay 1-5 6-10 11-15 16-20 21-25 26-3021. Tim GeithnerPresident, Federal Reserve Bank of New YorkOne way or another, he’ll be crucial to remaking the U.S. financial system--either at the Treasury Department or from his current perch. A smooth operator who’s made humility his disarming modus operandi, he’ll be called on to craft reforms and then sell them to Wall Street. The banks might get rolled, but at least they’ll feel like they’ve been heard. 22.
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.