[Guest post by DRJ]
Barack Obama plans to continue the Office of Political Affairs, Karl Rove’s office in the White House that was denounced by Democrats and some Republicans:
“President-elect Barack Obama has answered bipartisan calls for the disbandment of the White House office central to the Karl Rove-style politics the Democrat condemned as a candidate. The office stays.
Patrick Gaspard, a New Yorker and longtime labor operative, will head the Office of Political Affairs, the Obama transition announced on Friday.
Gaspard was national political director for the Obama campaign and has been an associate director for personnel for the transition.”
The office was originated by President Ronald Reagan and has been staffed by every President since to give them “a sense of the political impact of policies and legislation.” John McCain vowed to abolish it if he were elected President, and California Democrat Rep. Henry Waxman (who recently dethroned longtime Energy and Commerce Chairman John Dingell, “destabilizing a seniority system that has governed Democratic politics in the House for decades”) was an especially vigorous opponent of the Office of Political Affairs.
Others are disappointed Obama is not delivering on his promise to change Washington politics:
“Opponents of the office argue that a partisan political office has no business being in the White House.
“It’s not an office that should be subsidized by taxpayers, and it should not be part of the White House itself,” said Craig Holman, a lobbyist with the government watchdog group Public Citizen. The office has no benefit for the public, he said.
“I’m really disappointed,” Holman said of Obama’s decision. “I really didn’t think he was going to keep it.”
Politicians want to be re-elected but I’m sure it’s disappointing for those who think Obama is a different kind of politician. It’s early — Obama hasn’t even been inaugurated — but the media and blogs are already reporting on campaign promises Obama hasn’t kept. That makes me wonder:
I can’t think of any campaign promises Obama has kept. Can you?