Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Obama's Team Looks Familiar--So What?

I keep hearing this constant roar of rancour directed at President-Elect Obama from both sides of the aisle attacking him for turning to past administrations of both parties for his cabinet, and I'm thinking...SO WHAT?

SO WHAT that he's selected Clinton appointees for several positions. Wasn't it Clinton that changed Washington in the early 90's and, with the help of the Republican-led House, moved people from welfare to work, closed the poverty gap, gave us a surplus instead of a deficit, and left a cabinet-level terrorism czar in the hands of his successor? WOW! That guy was horrible.

SO WHAT that he's apparently decided to keep Robert Gates on the job. Isn't Gates the anti-Rumsfeld who has suggested draw-downs in troop levels in Iraq? Isn't Gates the one that implicitly backed Obama and not McCain in their plans for Iraq?

SO WHAT that he's naming Hillary Clinton Secretary of State, if you believe those reports. Weren't some of the people that are whining over this selection the same people that were begging for her to be selected Vice President. Arguably, the Secretary of State is a more important policy position than VEEP...unless your name is Cheney.

SO WHAT? SO WHAT! Obama's still at the top of the ticket. It's his boat to drive, and he's captaining the selection of a capable, qualified cabinet. It doesn't look like there are any horse show judges here. SO WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL?

The people elected Obama to change Washington. Shouldn't we give him our confidence...especially when nearly nothing is official and he is not even in office yet?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Post-Election Stock UP Stock down

George W. Bush-That's right. I put STOCK UP for George W. Bush...why? First of all, he trumped and surprised everyone by quickly inviting Obama in to the White House for the transition meeting. Everything out of his mouth in public has been magnanimous and classy. Plus, once he's out of office, his stock can only go up. That is unless a fillibuster-proof Democratic Senate and the huge majority in the house decides to investigate the inner realms of his shadowy administration. Let's assume no bombshells fall, Bush has nothing but time to sit on his Barney...and rehabilitate some semblance of a personal reputation.

Evan Bayh-Senator Bayh managed to walk the tightrope between Hillary Clinton supporter and late-coming Barack Obama supporter. If you listened carefully to his speech at the Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner in Indianapolis, you heard a man that was already bridging the gap between the so-called Democratic divide. Once Obama became the Democratic Party choice, Bayh was one of the first of the Clintonites to abandon the SS Hillary and come aboard the Barack Express. It greatly improved my somewhat cold fish opinion of him in the past.

Howard Dean-That's right...Howard Dean took us to North Carolina...then to Indiana...then to New Mexico...then to Nevada...then to Ohio...then to Florida...then to Washington to take back the White House YAHHHHAAAA!. In the meantime, he rescued his reputation as 2004's Ron Paul and has turned it into a highly successful turn as the Democratic Party Chair. Now, he's back in line to run for President. In fact, many plays of the Obama playbook (see fundraising) were originally in the Dean playbook. The difference...Obama's lack of volatility on the campaign trail.

Indiana Democratic Party-The Indiana Democratic Party morphed itself into the Campaign for Change and delivered Indiana for Obama in spite of so-so leadership. For more...see Stock Down.

Liberalism in America-The old scare tactics didn't work, and Senator Obama (the most liberal Senator in the United States Senate according to John McCain) was elected to the nation's highest office. It's good to be a little left of center again.

Sarah Palin-Yes. Her stock is up. If you measure it from one year ago, no one outside of the Great North knew her. Now, everyone knows the lady is nuts. The scary thing is that now she has four years to turn herself into a candidate. I don't think the winking is over yet. Thanks to John McCain's impulsiveness, Sarah Palin...airhead that she might the front-runner for the 2012 nomination today. Republicans...wake up and smell the Huckabee...he's a much better right wing standard bearer.

The Kennedys, the Nixons, the Goldwaters, and the Eisenhowers-All of these folks backed Obama. The last three are most surprising, but...perhaps they just got tired of seeing what the GOP had become. Looks like we've seen the last throes of the insurgency that took over that party.

Mayor Cory Booker of Newark-The Rhodes Scholar and Yale graduate has become a new force in politics. He was everywhere in the days leading up to the election, and he has made the tour of the talk shows since. With a general lack of controversy and a fine record as Mayor, it makes sense that Mayor of Newark likely isn't the last stop for this (unbelievably if you've seen him) 39-year old rising star.

Governor Mitch Daniels-Surprising margin when you look at where the polls were for the months leading up to the collapse of the economy. Looks like the reverse Obama-effect happened here. People saw Jill Long Thompson as a unknown quantity and Mitch as the sure thing. At the state level, it worked in reverse.

Andre Carson and the Marion County Democratic Party-The party that had lost the Mayor's race one year ago went Episode 5 and STRUCK BACK. Carson and Treasurer Mike Rodman took 60 plus percent of the vote. Surveyor-elect Deb Jenkins, Coroner-elect Frank Lloyd, and Circuit Court Judge-elect Lou Rosenberg all dusted their opposition. Thank God Ed Treacy's back. Hopefully he's here to stay.

Dennie Oxley-The Ox man rarely was mentioned as the Hindenburg of Jill Long Thompson's campaign crashed and burned. He got a lot of experience and can definitely hold a crowd with his oratory. If he can clean up his views on gay marriage, I think he might be a good candidate for Governor in 2012.

The Democratic Primary Process-It went all the way to the end this year. Obama visited Indiana 49 times! That beat McCain by 46. In the end, the divisive primary benefitted the Obama Campaign in the General Election. Many independents knew Obama despite what the Republican line on him was.

stock down
Joe "the Plumber" Lieberman-Okay, I merged two here, but they have something in common. Joe the Plumber masqueraded as an everyman plumber looking to get ahead. The news media found out that he was an unlicensed plumber who owed back taxes and would get a tax cut under Obama's "Spread the Wealth" plan. Joe Lieberman is a former Democratic Vice Presidential candidate that has a liberal record on social issues such as abortion and civil rights but suddenly became the darling of the right as someone that could work across party lines. Now, Joe the Plumber's clock reads 14:59:59, and Joe Lieberman can't get anyone in the Democratic Party to sit with him at lunch in the Senate Commissary. So much for Joe-mentum.

Dick Cheney-At 12:00 on January 20, he becomes Mr. Irrelevant. He can slink off into some undisclosed location, lock the door, and hook up battery cables to his unmentionables. He probably does that for fun.

Rick Davis, Karl Rove, and anyone else involved in Bush's 2000 and 2004 campaigns-The uniters divided, and now...they're gone! Vanquished! The Republican brand they took on is in shambles and pinning its hopes to the winkin', smilin', Hockey Mom of the Great North. Gotta love those odds.

Indiana Democratic Party-What could be seen as delivering the state for Obama is actually deceptive. While many of these folks did a spectacular job, the fact is that Obama flooded this state with volunteers, attorneys, field offices, paid staffers, money, resources, money, volunteers, commercials...etc. The Indiana Democratic Party managed to turn Barack Obama's victory into...status quo in the U.S. House. A terrible loss in the Governor's race. A one seat pick-up in the Indiana House. Status quo in the Indiana Senate and in the state offices of Superintendent of Public Instruction and Attorney General. What's really scary is that Mitch now controls the State School Superintendent. Sue Ellen Reed was not a "yes Mitch" kind of person, so now he's got his man in there. Basically, the party that partially turned Indiana blue gave us four more years of Mitchie-poo. GRRR. Hopefully, the Indiana House will stand up and not allow Mitch and his friends in the Senate destroy public education.

Jill Long Thompson-I still love you Jill. I voted for you in the primary. I contributed to your campaign, but it was a struggle in the General Election. I could have worked harder for you, but it just didn't seem like your campaign did you justice. I wish you the best! To my friends on her campaign staff, good luck! In the end, Jill gave voters outside her base little reason to stay with the Democratic ticket.

Jim Schellinger-The vanquished JLT opponent in the primary showed himself to be a bit immature, in my view, by not even smiling and waving with JLT on the campaign trail. He did send out a letter apparently to county chairs pledging his support. Still, he did little. The question is...what's next for this guy. Will anyone support him given his aversion to play the game and support JLT?

John Edwards-Watch out for John Edwards, though. His stock is down now, but this is a likable guy that already has apologized publicly for voting for the Iraq War. He can rehab his reputation and be a candidate again for something.

Fox News-The champions of the right will now become the loyal opposition network. Still, it was priceless to see Droopy Hume announce that Ohio went to Obama on Election Night to Karl Rove. That made my evening.

Republican Primary Process-Turns out neat and tidy made it more difficult to grab headlines. While everyone saw endless Hillary vs. Obama coverage and actually got visit after visit from the D's, the R's were left with the leftovers.