Archives for Politics

Obama teams examine agencies

Aptly-named "agency review teams" for President-elect Barack Obama are swooping into federal agencies and asking hard questions about where the bodies are buried and who buried them.

With unprecedented swiftness the teams of at least 10 people, try to identify problems within the agencies and ways to deal with the problems before Obama takes office on Jan. 20, 2009.

And they are doing it, apparently, with the full cooperation of the Bush White House, something also unprecedented for Presidential transition.

Washington watchers say this, as much as anything the President-elect has done to date, signals change is coming.

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Bending the rules for Hillary Clinton

If President-elect Barack Obama wants Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton confirmed as his Secretary of State he may have to depend on Congress bending the rules to give her the job.

Interesting irony. The man who campaigned on honesty and openness in government may need a backroom deal from the good old boys on the Hill to complete his cabinet selections.

Seems Clinton's appointment runs afoul of the law because the salary for her new job went up during her time in the Senate. The rules say a member of Congress can't take a cabinet position if the pay went up while they were in office making laws that affect things like salary hikes for Presidential appointments.

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Republican Chambliss wins easily in GA

The South rose again Tuesday and doomed Democratic hopes for a filibuster proof Senate by keeping Republican incumbent Saxby Chambliss as a Senator from Georgia.

Chambliss won easily in a race where a Democratic win was nothing more than a fantasy. McCain carried Georgia in the Presidential election in November and a Democrat hasn't won a statewide race there in the past decade.

Still, some Democrats held out hope that Jim Martin could ride the wave that swept Barack Obama into office along with more Democratic members of the House and Senate. Obama apparently did not share that illusion because he made no campaign appearances in the state for Martin.

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Can an Obama-Clinton marriage work?

By putting Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton into one of the top jobs of his new administration, President-elect Barack Obama is -- depending on who you talk to -- making a brilliant tactical move or his is putting a fox in his henhouse and there won't be any eggs on the table in the morning.

During the bitter campaign for the Democratic Presidential nomination, Obama often held Clinton up as an example of the outdated politics of the past. In the parimay, ge campaigned as much against the excesses of her husband's Presidency as on those of Geoge W. Bush.

Now he has Hillary Clinton by his side in a deal that is supposed to also muzzle the former President and limit his role on the international stage.

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Holder ‘deeply involved’ in Rich pardon

President-elect Barack Obama's nomination of Eric Holder to be Attorney General has raised new questions about Holder's involvement in the controversial pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich by President Bill Clinton shortly before he left office.

Holder's supporters have maintained that he was simply doing his job but Congressional records show Holder was much more involved than previously acknowledged.

Such a revelation raises questions about the honesty and integrity of the man who will serve as the nation's top law enforcement officer and whether or not Obama is serious about creating a "transparent" government.

Holder may be damaged goods and another ethically-challenged attorney general is not what voters expected from the President-elect.

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Obama unveils his “dream team”

President-elect Barack Obama unveiled his national security "dream team" Monday with former opponent Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton topping the field as Secretary of State.

With most of the names known well before the Monday announcement, the only question for those watching the press conference was what exactly would the President-elect say in describing the latest round of cabinet and key aide selections.

Obama called it "a new dan of American leadership" even though he has turned more and more to Washington insiders to be the symbols of the change that he promised the American people during the election campaign.

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Another twist from Obama

Sen Hillary Rodham Clinton may have lost the Democratic nomination for President in a bitter, name-calling battle with Barack Obama but that was then and this is now. On Monday, she becomes one of President-elect Obama's top advisers as his choice for Secretary of State.

Sen. Clinton will join a Presidential cabinet that seems more Clinton than Obama because the President-elect has turned to a number of members of former President Bill Clinton's administration to serve with the man who once promised change but now appears to want more of the same.

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As part of deal, Clinton will reveal donors

In a concession that few thought would happen, former President Bill Clinton will reveal the names of donors to his foundation and will also allow the state department to review and approve his future foreign travel and speeches.

Clinton's once super-secret list of more than 200,000 donors was a deal breaker for his wife's appointment as President-elect Barack Obama's Secretary of State: No list, no job.

The donor list was also a campaign issue in the hotly-contested battle between Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Presidential nomination.

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Obama’s picks: Big names, big egos, big gambles

Can Barack Obama bring change to Washington by turning to a varied collection of power players, political insiders and established names for his cabinet and senior staff?

Is change even part of the picture now that the election is over?

Good questions.

As Obama continues to assemble his team, the "new" government of President-elect Obama has all the trappings of former administrations -- particularly Bill Clinton's -- and could set the new President up for charges of selling out on his promises to bring change to the Presidency and government.

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Franken may turn to the courts

If he is unable to win at the ballot box, comedian-turned-politician Al Franken may turn to the courts to gain a seat in the U.S. Senate.

Recent rulings by Minnesota's canvassing board have put Franken in the hole in his bid to unseat incumbent Republican Senator Norm Coleman.

News reports say Franken is "eyeing his options" after disputed absentee ballots were thrown out and those options might include taking the matter to court.

In other words, another election decided not by the courts but by men and women who got their jobs through election or political appointment.

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