Obama: Chicago Politics plus Clintonites Equals Conservative Dream?

Cross posted at Politics and Critical Thinking.

For two years, from campaigning to President-elect, the Obama platform and objectives have remained an enigma which has been entirely ignored by his supporters and queried, with no success, by his opposition. There has been nothing to examine except supercilious speeches about “change” and “hope” and some very questionable associations. Starry-eyed Progressives and a hyper liberal media bent on making history refused a vetting process of President-elect Obama by their own, or anyone for that matter. To even think of it was considered heresy and demanded be burned at the stake.

However, the first light being shed on his intentions, and that of the senior members of his team, are their Cabinet choices. Unfortunately for his supporters, the same light that they thought was a beacon for the Progressive slide to collectivist equality might just be showing something slightly different than what they expected.

Since the announcement of Hillary Clinton as SoS designate, some have been scratching their heads in confusion as to what to expect out of President-elect Obama. This appointment along with the possibility of Bill Richardson at Commerce, Eric Holder as Attorney General, and 31 out of his 47 member transition team being made up of former Clintonites has some on the Left worried they are not getting what they bargained for. Pundits and bloggers from both sides of the aisle are taking notice also: Pajamas Media, Dissenting Justice, Gun Toting Liberal, LA Times, and the Politico.

His choice for his top advisor role, not surprisingly filled by David Axelrod, member of the Chicagoan political machine extraordinaire and Rahm Emanuel as his CoS designate, see previous description, set the tone for this strange mixture of Chicago politics and Clintonian Renaissance . With their ascendancy to positions of prominence within the Obama administration it should come as no revelation to Obama supporters, and his opposition, that we see the return of the Clintonites.

Interestingly enough, and often overlooked, both of these men have moderate to strong ties with the Clintons. Axelrod has worked as a political consultant for HRC, has done political advisory work for Bill Clinton in 1996, and has personal ties to Hillary through a charity for epilepsy co-founded by his wife . Emanuel, as is well known, was Assistant to the President for Political Affairs and then Senior Advisor to the President for Policy and Strategy, serving in the Clinton White House from 1993-98.

Both men are very close personally also, having worked for Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago. Emanuel served as an adviser and chief fundraiser for Daley in 1989. Axelrod also joined the Daley campaign in 1989 as has remained close to Daley ever since. In 1984, Axelrod served as Press Secretary to Senator Paul Simon while Emanuel worked for the Senator’s campaign. When Emanuel married his wife Axelrod signed the ketuba, a Jewish marriage contract, at Emanuel's wedding, an honor that usually goes to a best friend.

A look at some of the top Obama campaign staffers and you still see signs of the Clintonian tendency; Valerie Jarrett-a senior unpaid adviser and fixture in Chicago politics. Her great-uncle Vernon Jordan, a lawyer, is a Bill Clinton confidant. Daniel Tarullo-Tarullo worked for Bill Clinton for six years, the last three in the White House as the president's point man on international economic policy. Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar-A veteran of President Clinton's 1996 re-election campaign, Cuéllar, now 35, was a top Treasury Department official from 1997 to 1999. Many of Obama's advisers served in the Clinton State Department or on the National Security Council. Philip Gordon and Ivo Daalder are two notables. Tony Lake-One of Obama's top foreign-policy and national security advisers, Lake was once closely associated with President Clinton, having served as national security adviser from 1993 to 1997, and as the president's envoy for negotiations that ended the war between Ethiopia and Eritrea. Frank Loy- The 79-year-old pillar of the environmental community serves on the boards of several national green groups. He held State Department posts during the Clinton, Carter, and Johnson administrations. David Cutler-Obama's top health care adviser served on the Council of Economic Advisers and the National Economic Council during the Clinton administration, and he helped develop the Clintons' failed universal health care proposal in the early 1990s. Stuart Altman- He served on President Clinton's transition team but declined to participate in the Clintons' health care reform effort in the early 1990s.

More confusion has been heaped on the minds of Progressives with Gates possibly being kept on as SecDef and Timothy F. Geithner as Secretary of the Treasury. Nevertheless, one thing Progressives and Conservatives can agree upon is that none of us are getting the bill of goods we were sold. The chances of him governing as a moderate with center right tendencies is still very slim in the mind of this Conservative. Because of this doubt, the GOP must be prepared for the collectivist hammer to drop at a moments notice.

Obama Camapign post descriptions taken from the National Journal

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