Archives for Politics

Stepping forcefully into a vacuum

First, there was a post-election flat spot. All the news was about things like where Barack Obama's children would go to school and his pick up basketball games. But now, Obama has stepped forcefully into the vacuum left by an incumbent president who obviously wishes it was January 20 and that he was on his way back to Texas.


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Obama sets up economic board

President-elect Barack Obama is naming a board of economic experts outside government to advise him on ways to create jobs and bring stability to the ailing financial system.

Obama was expected to introduce members of the advisory board Wednesday at a news conference, his third in as many days as Americans moved into the long Thanksgiving weekend. It was a remarkable burst of public activity for Obama, who has sought to assure nervous consumers and financial markets that he will bring swift economic relief as president.


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Obama’s greybeards

Barack Obama's campaign credo: Change is good. President-elect Barack Obama's credo: When it comes to war and peace, maybe wisdom is better.

Obama has assembled a national security brain trust populated by graybeard establishment figures with decades of combined experience and even a few medals. He is entrusting critical wartime management to people with unassailable credentials and low buzz factor.

The best example of the Obama Battleplan Version 2.0 is Robert Gates (above).


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Preaching from the bully pulpit

Pushing the calendar, and maybe his luck, President-elect Barack Obama is urging rapid approval of a massive economic stimulus package meant to calm turbulent financial markets.

He will not be president for another eight weeks, and the politically safer route might be to lie low as President George W. Bush finishes his rocky term. But in announcing his economic team Monday at a White House-style news conference, Obama has chosen to use the bully pulpit even before he assumes the office, gambling that he can soften the economy's fall while he continues to fill out the rest of his cabinet.


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Everything new is old again

So far Barack Obama's apparent Cabinet choices give little evidence that his pledge to change the face of Washington is anything more than that -- just a promise. With a few exceptions those reportedly chosen all have been here before from the White House to Congress.

That's not necessarily a bad thing. Jimmy Carter ran into trouble when he tried to keep the faith with a presidential campaign that was anti-Washington and became increasingly isolated from the institutions that actually run this community, including Congress. It is better to rely on those who understand the nuts and bolts of this complex society and count on them to get results from the fresh ideas that you propose.


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Obama wants quick economic action

With the economy in crisis, President-elect Barack Obama called on the new Congress to act quickly in passing a costly stimulus package to create jobs as a follow-up to the hundreds of billions of dollars the Bush administration has committed to rescue financial markets.

"The economy is likely to get worse before it gets better," Obama said Monday in a downbeat forecast, delivered 57 days before he takes the oath of office and with Americans heading into the year-end holiday season.


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Obama set to unveil economic team

Eager to calm economic anxieties, President-elect Barack Obama is rolling out an economic vision that will require congressional cooperation even before he settles into his new desk in the White House's Oval Office.

Obama will introduce his new economic leadership team Monday, a key step toward enacting a huge new economic recovery plan that aims to save or create 2.5 million jobs over the next two years.


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Obama taps Richardson for Commerce

President-elect Barack Obama has chosen New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson to be commerce secretary, adding a prominent Hispanic and one-time Democratic rival to his expanding Cabinet.

Obama planned to announce the nomination after Thanksgiving, according to a Democratic official familiar with the discussions. The official was not authorized to speak publicly about the negotiations and did so on condition of anonymity.


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An inaugural for the people

Pattie Brew, (right) daughter of a North Carolina sharecropper, had let almost a century go by without casting a vote for president or joining the inaugural crowds only three miles from her home in the nation's capital.

"I never had no interest in it because my vote don't matter anyway, so I never even took the time to fool with it," said the 97-year-old woman known as Mother Brew. "I knew white people had the right of way here, you know."


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Obama outlines plan to create jobs

President-elect Barack Obama on Saturday outlined his plan to create 2.5 million jobs in coming years to rebuild roads and bridges and modernize schools while developing alternative energy sources and more efficient cars.

"These aren't just steps to pull ourselves out of this immediate crisis; these are the long-term investments in our economic future that have been ignored for far too long," Obama said in the weekly Democratic radio address. The economic recovery plan being developed by his staff aims to create 2.5 million jobs by January 2011, and he wants to get it through Congress quickly and sign it soon after taking office.


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