November 19, 2008
So much health care news, so little time to blog. But let me weigh in on the news, via, CNN, that Tom Daschle will be Secretary of Health and Human Services. He will also serve as the White House point person on health care reform. This is a perfect role for Daschle. Although he was always been interested in health care, in the last few years he's become a true wonk on the subject, publishing a book called Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis.
The transition team announced today the leaders of its seven policy working groups, which will develop policy proposals for the new administration. A list of the group leaders is here. Many of them are already on the transition team and the Cabinet shortlist, including Tom Daschle for health and human services, Linda Darling-Hammond for education, and Jim Steinberg and Susan Rice for national security advisor. --Seyward Darby
Another quick thought on that WSJ article about Rahm's comments to business leaders yesterday. These portions of the Journal piece stood out for me: He was asked his views on the push by labor unions to allow workplaces to be organized with the signing of cards attesting to union support rather than a secret ballot. Mr. Emanuel declined to say whether the White House would support the legislation, but he said the unions are addressing the concerns of a middle class that has seen U.S.
Transition News 11/19
Thomas Friedman worries that the Clinton-Obama relationship could be bad for State. Politico reports that Bill Clinton might drop foreign income to help Hillary become SOS. Karen DeYoung explains what Obama's national security structure might look like. Why transition is tougher for Obama than for past presidents. Rahm asks CEOs to join in the fight for universal health care. Newsweek looks at how the world is rushing to gain from Obama's win. Is Eric Holder too close to Obama to be AG? WSJ reports that new administration will tighten some agency regulations. --Seyward Darby
There's been a lot of debate about how quickly the Obama Administration can move on its domestic policy agenda--and for how long it might have to shelve big-ticket items like fighting climate change and major health care reform. It appears we have an answer, via incoming chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. Last night, Emanuel addressed a group of business executives.
November 18, 2008
The Right Kind Of Right
WASHINGTON -- There is a second transition under way over which President-elect Barack Obama has no control--the transition of conservatives to minority status. How they do this will have a powerful impact on the new presidency. If you doubt that, ask Bill Clinton. Clinton was elected in 1992 with only 43 percent of the vote while Republicans gained seats in the House. The right felt empowered to treat Clinton as a not fully legitimate minority president and moved into unrelenting opposition.
Two Wrongs, No Right
WASHINGTON--When both sides have a point in a war, you know you are in deep trouble -- in deciding whom to help, whom to blame, or whom to punish. That's the case in Congo, where the Rwanda-backed rebel force led by Laurent Nkunda is fighting a combination of government troops and the exiled Rwandan Hutu militia known by its acronym FDLR. In the last few weeks, Nkunda's expansionist push in large parts of eastern Congo's North Kivu province has chased 250,000 civilians out of their homes while the government's troops looted, raped and shot their way in retreat.
Crash and Burn
Normally, the Pearl River Delta, a manufacturing hub in southern China, whirs with the sound of commerce. Alongside massive new highways, clusters of factories churn out toys, electronics, and other consumer products for the world; in Pearl River cities like Guangzhou, nouveau riche businesspeople cut deals at swank hotels. But in recent months, the Delta has started to seem more like Allentown, circa 1980s. As the global financial crisis hits Western consumers’ wallets, orders for the Delta’s products have dried up. And angry factory workers, many owed back pay, have taken to the streets.
For what it's worth, sources working closely with the transition on health care tell me Tom Daschle is heavily involved in the effort and that they expect him to become the White House point man on the issue. Though, who knows, maybe that changes if Hillary turns down secretary of state. Update: Okay, close enough for horse shoes and transitions: Roll Call is reporting that Daschle has been offered--and has accepted--the job of HHS secretary. Second update: CNN is reporting that Daschle is set to become both HHS secretary and health care czar.
Hillary used to tout her husband's globetrotting credentials as an asset to her presidential campaign. But now that she's being vetted for Secretary of State, Bill's financial and philanthropic entanglements abroad could prove to be more of a liability.