Archives for Politics

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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So far, so good

So, folks, how is he doing?

With every day bringing more bad financial news, with job loss now an equal opportunity experience, with paying the mortgage each month a major hassle, we can at least be glad that Barack Obama is said to be ahead of any previous president-elect in putting together his team.

For sure, there are a lot of retreads from the Clinton years. And with the exception of keeping defense chief Robert Gates, there aren't a lot of Republican crossovers. At least not yet. True bipartisanship remains a vision, not a fait accompli.

When Obama holds press conferences, the markets gyrate down and up and down and up and down.


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Time to speed up Presidential transitions?

Is it too soon for George W. Bush to leave the White House?

Sure, Barack Obama's inauguration isn't scheduled until Jan. 20. But as America's economy continues to falter, some commentators have suggested that Bush should resign immediately -- and, through a series of constitutional contortions, allow Obama to take office immediately.

Should Bush stay or should he go? Ben Boychuk and Joel Mathis, the RedBlueAmerica columnists, just have to let you know.


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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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