Patterico's Pontifications

12/1/2008

Obama Announces Secretaries of State, Defense

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 4:57 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

Barack Obama promised “a new dawn in American leadership” while officially naming centrist Cabinet appointees including Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State and the Bush Administration’s Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense:

“While his new team may be a bit more centrist – some war opponents might even say hawkish – than many Obama supporters might prefer, he said the withdrawal timetable he emphasized in the presidential campaign is still “the right time frame.”

Clinton, as secretary of state, and Gates, remaining as defense secretary, will be the most prominent faces – besides Obama’s own – of the new administration’s effort to revamp U.S. policy abroad.

At a Chicago news conference, Obama also tapped top advisers Eric Holder as attorney general and Susan Rice as ambassador to the United Nations. He named Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano to be homeland security secretary and retired Marine Gen. James Jones as White House national security adviser.”

If Clinton and Gates are new leadership, what does it take to be considered old?

Nevertheless, I’m glad Obama has backed down on Iraq but he still talks like President Bush is his biggest enemy:

“Denouncing White House “group think,” Obama signaled a break from President Bush’s tendency toward an insular management style and go-with-the-gut diplomacy.

“The time has come for a new beginning,” said Obama, flanked by flags on a stage with Vice President-elect Joe Biden and his six newest appointees. While Gates will stay at the Pentagon, Obama said the military’s new mission will be “responsibly ending the war in Iraq through a successful transition to Iraqi control.”

He said a newly completed agreement between Iraq and the Bush administration covering U.S. troops signals “a transition period in which our mission is changing.” He added: “It indicates we are now on a glide path to reduce our forces in Iraq.
***
Referring to his security team, Obama said: “They share my pragmatism about the use of power and my sense of purpose about America’s role as a leader in the world.”

Obama’s early appointments paint him as the pragmatist he claims to be but so was President Bush. The more Obama tries to distance himself from Bush, the more they look the same.

— DRJ

19 Responses to “Obama Announces Secretaries of State, Defense”

  1. Obama said the military’s new mission will be “responsibly ending the war in Iraq through a successful transition to Iraqi control.”

    Wow! Obama really needs to catch up with the news. Maybe somebody can show Obama how to use the internet.

    Perfect Sense (9d1b08)

  2. “The time has come for a new beginning,” said Obama, flanked by flags on a stage with Vice President-elect Joe Biden and his six newest appointees.

    I take it that Biden’s main duty will be to attend overseas funerals. You damn well know that Hillary isn’t going to seek his advice, and when given unprompted, she will no doubt ignore it.

    JVW (6dfd55)

  3. “The more Obama tries to distance himself from Bush, the more they look the same.” How about that Dems. Your Golden Boy is a Bush in liberal/progressive clothing. BTW, The “War” in Iraq has been “over” for quite some time now. The American Media missed that one too.

    J. Raymond Wright (0440ef)

  4. Funniest story I read concerning Biden and Obama – shortly after his selection as VP during the primaries, Biden was holding forth on his foreign policy ideas with Obama and his campaign team. As Slo – Joe droned on and on, Obama reportedly slipped Axelrod a note, saying “please shoot me now.” If true, I like him better already.

    Dmac (e30284)

  5. Obama will do what he is best at; talk. The rest he will leave to adults, hopefully, and maybe he will do less harm than I originally feared. Of course, after January 20, he will have to make some decisions.

    Oh well, that is months away.

    Mike K (6c3bc7)

  6. And the market applauded, well, didn’t it?

    Character is the word you will never associate with Obama. But don’t worry there are plenty of other words you will.

    bill-tb (26027c)

  7. Funny, I thought the LAT and NYT told us many times of all the dissent and argument in the Bush White House.

    Ah, well, it’s a new dawn, a new truth.

    Patricia (ee5c9d)

  8. _____________________________

    Barack Obama promised “a new dawn in American leadership” while officially naming centrist Cabinet appointees including Hillary Clinton

    I still have a difficult time thinking of her as “centrist,” unless one is viewing her through the prism of Manhattan/SanFrancisco/WestHollywood/Boston. However, I’ll give her a bit of leeway, at least based on her ranking in 2006, per below. But overall, I still judge her as pretty much of a garden-variety liberal, perhaps only a bit less predictably dogmatic than Ted Kennedy or, for that matter, Barack Obama.

    Beyond that, I consider her tattered ethics and dumbed-down integrity (eg, her flat-out lying about ducking sniper fire in Bosnia and being part of the duo of meaning-of-is-is Bill & Hillary) the biggest sticking point about her.


    National Journal: She ranked as the 16th-most-liberal senator in the 2007 ratings, a computer-assisted analysis that used 99 key Senate votes, selected by NJ reporters and editors, to place every senator on a liberal-to-conservative scale in each of three issue categories. In 2006, Clinton was the 32nd-most-liberal senator.

    Mark (411533)

  9. Gates is a great choice. He has made some great improvements in the DoD.

    Dreadnaught (d50ccf)

  10. Mark,

    That’s a good point but since Hillary was named Secretary of State, I rate her as a centrist based solely on her foreign policy views and I primarily based that on her positions on Iraq and Afghanistan.

    DRJ (a50047)

  11. And sure, on an absolute scale Hillary is pretty darn Liberal, but on a relative scale next to Obama? She’s freaking Barry Goldwater…

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  12. Mike, given that today is the first day of US market activity since the Mumbai bombings, and the first day of US market activity since Black Friday, and the day that the US government agency responsible for such things declared that we are in a recession, I’m having a hard time understanding the reasoning that says that the national security team announcement is the reason for the market’s activity today.

    Seems like there are a lot of things going on and it’s unlikely that was the primary factor.

    aphrael (9e8ccd)

  13. Barack Obama promised “a new dawn in American leadership” while officially naming centrist Cabinet appointees including Hillary Clinton.

    Apparently it’s still 3 a.m. The dawn is coming soon enough, and I think I’ll just stay under the covers.

    I do think Hillary will be tough on terrorist nations to make up for Bill’s timid response, so that’s a good thing. As tough as any Democrat can be.

    aphrael,
    Do you contend the up days last week were due to Obama’s press conferences?

    Patricia (ee5c9d)

  14. Patricia: I think some of the up days last week were due to the announcement of the economic team, yes. I’d argue that the economic team is more likely to produce a reaction on Wall Street, and that the fact that there wasn’t a four-day holiday weekend before last week means that the market wasn’t simultaneously processing announcements from former Senator Obama *and* a bunch of other things.

    I’d also argue that, in general, aside from really obvious things (market down sharply after lehman collapse, for example), trying to tie daily market results to *individual* events is a fool’s errand, and that anyone – including me – doing it is almost certain to be wrong.

    aphrael (9e8ccd)

  15. Napolitano always said that she would beef up security at the border as long as the federal gov’t pays for it. Now she will get her wish.

    And the deficit grows larger.

    Icy Texan (b7d162)

  16. Juggy is a lying dirt bag. that holds true whether if it’s 0300 when your shit drops in the pan and he doesn’t respond, 1200 according to the local broadcast schedule, or cocktail hour wherever his sorry ass is on a given day.

    it also doesn’t matter what part of the pool he’s in, it’s over his head.

    i’m just glad he’s not *my* president.

    redc1c4 (27fd3e)

  17. Top level posts may be in the middle, but down a few rungs, where Bush put evangelical Christians and movement Conservatives, Obama will be filling with feminists, “progressives” and ethnocentric politicians.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  18. the leftist illuminati rarely does anything truly new.

    ew (7f2fd7)

  19. Comment by Kevin Murphy — 12/2/2008 @ 12:24 am

    You can rest assured that there will be no members of The Federalist Society
    nominated for positions in the Plum Book.

    Another Drew (4472ac)


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