Politics

Obama Answers Liberal Critics

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They wanted him to appoint left wingers. He hasn’t.

So what to make of this?

Obama talks…

WASHINGTON — President-elect Barack Obama, rejecting liberals’ criticism of his emerging cabinet, today strongly defended his decision to choose more experienced, centrist aides for his inner circle, arguing that the nation needs sure hands in a time of turmoil — and that it’s his job to bring the change he promised voters.

At a press conference to introduce his economic advisory board, Obama said it would send the wrong message to the nation if he stocked his cabinet with newcomers, especially given the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the deepening economic crisis. Veterans, he said, bring the wisdom to help him shape his agenda and the know-how to execute it.

“What we are going to do is combine experience with fresh thinking,” he said in his most detailed comments on the issue. “But I understand where the vision for change comes from. First and foremost, it comes from me. That’s my job — to provide a vision in terms of where we are going, and to make sure then that my team is implementing.”

Honestly, if Obama is angering liberal critics now, this probably bodes well for his administration and the promise of bringing unity to Washington. Because, like he says, he’s leading the call for change, but in order to do that he has to have people who know Washington in order to do that. And if he were to take the first term Clinton model and start appointing people nobody knows, those folks would face institutional barriers that would prove counterproductive. Yes, there’s a risk that these appointees won’t be able to bring about change, but I think it’s much more likely that insiders will be able to user their existing networks to signal to everybody that change is coming.

In other words, you can’t turn this town upside down right off the bat, and if liberals don’t get that then they don’t get how Washington works.

More as it unfolds…

  • http://across-the-grain.com BenG

    Yes, Justin, that is all true but isn’t it also cool that the one who envisions this whole yin and yang thing is the Junior Senator from Illinois? The youngest, most inexperienced, most “liberal” president-elect ever? At least that’s what many continue to say about Mr. Obama.

    Speaking of what many continue to say, my extended family just had our annual Us vs. Them after dinner political discussion. In case you’re wondering, my wife and the kids are FOR the upcoming administration and my relatives are pretty much against . Needless to say, my daughter gets very frustrated when the conversation disintegrates into more of the same old pre-election negative, attack ad B.S.

    For anybody in this predicament I would suggest that you try this fun little game that I told my daughter to try. Instead of gettin mad while tryin in vain to get people to see your side of the argument, just sit back, relax and maybe ask some questions to try and figure out why they think the way they do. Don’t judge, because you have no idea how someone who has been on this planet 4 times longer than you can think the way they do. Don’t think you’ve got it all figured out b/c you haven’t even started yet. Be humble and be thankful you have these people who love you and support you along the way.

    Happy Thanksgiving :-}

  • http://www.donklephant.com Justin Gardner

    Exactly. People would be amazed at how alike we all are when we actually listen to each other.