32 thoughts on “Congratulations President-Elect Obama”

  1. I was once comforted by a wise man. Somewhere about November 4 or 5, 2004, he congratulated me. I was understandably unenthusiastic at the time, being a filthy Linux hippie and mid-primary Kerry convert (from waffling between Edwards and Clark), and Bush had just won with what conservatives and people with bad math skills were calling a mandate.

    “Take heart,” he said. “For the first time in your life the Bush presidency is half over.”

    I offer similar solace, but only the smallest possible atomic quantity thereof. For the first time in your life, Obama has given up his campaign in order to focus on his constituents and the well-being of his the districts he represents. He fought hard, and ultimately Mr. McCain triumphed, forcing Mr. Obama to retreat to the safety of the Secret Service and a round room in a posh historic DC resort.

  2. Your recent attempts to make good with the Obama camp, join the party so that you can have slightly larger rations in the rice fields is disturbing my friend.

  3. Heh.. adding the Chinese Communists as a third party in American politics sure would be interesting. You would have a more unabashed pro-business party than the Republicans, with a utilitarian view of private property that would make the Democrats blush.

    Their use of empty Marxist symbols would make them popular on college campuses, if not for their stance on Tibet.

    The ‘Revolutionary Committee of the GOP’ and ‘Democratic Party League’ that they would keep trotting out as the ‘true’ representatives of the Republicans and Democrats would be spooky, though…

  4. Things to ponder:

    #1. How long until France elects a president who is the son of an Algerian immigrant?

    #2. How long until the U.K. selects a PM who is the son of Indian immigrant? (I’d bet we’ll do that before they do).

    #3. How long until Japan selects the son of Brazilian immigrant to serve as PM? (or better yet, a Chinese or Korean immigrant?)

    The world learned a lot about America yesterday.As I watched Obama’s speech I remembered thinking to myself that historians may look back and say that this moment was the begining of the second American century.

  5. #3. How long until Japan selects the son of Brazilian immigrant to serve as PM? (or better yet, a Chinese or Korean immigrant?)

    Of course, countries with little history of immigration will be unlikely to high high-ranking immigrants.

    A better comparison might be with Latin America, specifically Said Musa (an ethnic Palestinian) of Belize [1] or Carlos Menem (who, like Obama, was born to a Muslim father and converted to Christianity in in adulthood)

    I remembered thinking to myself that historians may look back and say that this moment was the begining of the second American century.

    A nice thing about such rhetoric is that there is no way to disprove it.

    [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Said_Musa
    [2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlos_Saul_Menem

  6. Heh….

    The ‘Revolutionary Committee of the GOP’ and ‘Democratic Party League’ that they would keep trotting out as the ‘true’ representatives of the Republicans and Democrats would be spooky, though…

    Methinks there is a nugget of an idea for conservative student political street theater…

  7. Another stray though: I hope an Obama administration will see the the return of Harold Ford, Jr. – this time to an executive position of some sort. A cabinet secretary of some sort.

    How about DepSecState for Public Diplomacy and Ambassador-at-large?

  8. So far Obama’s first two tips are Rahm Emanuel as Chief of Staff [1] and Leon Podesta as head of the Transition team [2].

    These are good signs, if Obama will truly be the President of the Establishment [3].

    [1] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/uselection2008/barackobama/3386806/Barack-Obama-prepares-to-make-first-senior-appointments.html
    [2] http://gas2.org/2008/11/05/with-podesta-running-obamas-transition-energy-clearly-tops/
    [3] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2008/06/19/the-foreign-policy-advantages-of-obama-as-bush-iii.html

  9. In this exceedingly volatile market, day-to-day fluctuations don’t mean much. The market has the flu. For day or two it pukes; for a day or two it eats.

  10. I think it’s unlikely RFK’s rfk is under serious consideration. I enjoyed surfing through the science blog. I hope he’s a much better surgeon than an Iwo Jima historian.

  11. Am I the only one who thinks its odd that – as Obama launched his career in the hate organization of TUCC, was there as a member as twenty years, and gave one of the worst speeches on race imaginable [1] — Dan Nexon accuses McCain of race-pandering?

    If nothing else, though, Dan Nexon’s post is a good example that the politics of racial grievance doesn’t end with Obama’s victory. It’s too easy of a way to score cheap points to give up.

    [1] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2008/03/19/obamas-awful-speech-on-race.html
    [2] http://duckofminerva.blogspot.com/2008/11/i-never-believed-that-such-day-would.html

  12. racial grievance is hereby terminated. there cannot be said another word about how america is racist. also, all AA programs need to be abolished immediately as they have evidently served their original purposes and their continued existence only promotes the balkanization of america.

  13. A good signal of the ideological direction of the ObamaGOV will be picks:

    Will RFKjr get a nomination…or is this courtesy chatter?

    Will the important posts (e.g.) SecState, SecTreas, SecDefense, SecHomeSec, ChairEcon, Attorney General) go to centrist leaning or folks with pragmatic reputations?

    Will the lefty loons be given marginal spots at best?

    Will “legacy” democrats be given important positions (e.g. Kerry or Richardson as SecState) even though they they seem to have no special abiklities in those area?

    Let’s see the background on who turn out to be his first 5 judicial appointments are. My guess, we will see a lot of 40 year old liberal/leftist law professors being appointed federal judges.

    Armed Forces Signala:

    Will President Obama order offensive operations in Iraq to cease while US troops are withdrawn?

    Will President Obama replace General Patraeous at Central Command after some incident (.e.g. another “wedding” or “group of only old men, children and women prayer to Allah” are bombed)?

    What is the Civilian National Security Force (with a budget and strength comparable to the US Armed Forces) exactly? Will it ever be spoken about again?

    Will President Obama support the 25% reduction in DoD budgets (or…snicker…will he compromise at only 18%)?

    Will Obama make an pardons or sentence commutations right away?

    Will the ObamaGOV Justice Department be going after Bush administration officials?

    We will know soon enough.

  14. PS,

    With the exception of RFK, most names on this gossip list are fine [1].

    I don’t mind establishment Democrats.. Obama is truly clueless when it comes to governing (he’s essentially lived in DC for two years, part time), and needs to rely on the establishment.

    If the CNSF is some sort of SysAdmin, it’d be pretty cool. We’ll see.

    Doug,

    How long before it’s pointed out by the punditry that Obama is not “African-American” (as he has no relatives who were American slaves), and thus is not even an outlier in black achievement?

    [1] http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/elections/national/Bamalot_Obama_Drafts_Star-Studded_Short_List.html

  15. Wierd idea I got after reading Barnett’s last GOOD MAGAZINE article: If Gates doesn’t stay on, offer the job to McCain.

  16. During the primaries, the Chief of Staff -designate Rahm Emanuel listed the following as planks of a ‘New Deal for a New Economy’ [1]

    * Universal Health Care
    * Personal Savings Accounts
    * Alternative Energy
    * Education

    Meanwhile, moves to up mileage/gallon of gas requirements if there is any Detroit bailout [2].

    So far, at least, the rumors from Washington are mostly promising.

    McCain as SecDef would be amazing, presuming Gates doesn’t want it.

    An email from the future also suggested Ambassador to India [3]…

    [1] http://www.weeklystandard.com/weblogs/TWSFP/2008/11/emanuels_new_deal_for_a_new_ec_1.asp
    [2] http://www.hybridcarblog.com/2008/11/democrats-ready-to-play-hardball-with.html
    [3] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2008/11/04/open-thread-xvi.html#comment-158427

  17. McCain would be a horrible Secretary of Defense. General Wesley Clark would be my pick, but Gates is okay. His book about his CIA career is very good. He can work with anybody. Was honest enough to say that Jimmy Carter was one of the toughest negotiators with the Soviets of all the Presidents with whom he worked, which I believe was 5.

  18. mccain would be an excellent choice as secdef (remember he was the one who, talking to the mid-level officers on the ground in iraq, originally pushed the “surge” to bush), but a plum like that will not be given to an R. maybe powell, but i doubt that too. from what it looks like the far left is already going to go nuts with a center-left cabinet. good center-left cab picks would indicate that O is a smart empty suit, rather than a far-left idealogue.

  19. Dan: I remember that. Ambassador to Vietnam would also be an obvious (if less prestigious) choice–from what I’ve heard, the Vietnamese were hoping he’d win.

    Doug: Considering that Gates is already under consideration and that Clinton’s 2nd term SecDef was a Republican, I wouldn’t rule it out.

    sonofsamphm1c: I’m thinking of McCain’s experience both as a Navy Officer and as a Senator dealing with military issues. Also his opposition to the use of torture and reputation as a budget hawk–from what Galrahn and Co at Information Dissemination have said, the chance to boss around the same Brass they’ve been trying to get strait answers out of for years would be well nigh irresistible. What are you thinking of?

  20. Keeping Gates as SecDef gives Obama plausible political coverage. If anything bad happens, he just pins the blame on the Republican and says, “Yes, it is my fault for being too good of a person and not believing that all Republicans are spawn of Satan.”

    On the question of Robert Kennedy as EPA chief, I refer to Jonah Goldberg’s New York Post column:

    http://www.nypost.com/seven/11052008/postopinion/opedcolumnists/now_govern_137070.htm

    The conservative in me hopes that Robert Kennedy will be kept out on the side lines because he is a flake who is guaranteed to damage what he touches. But if that lunatic ex-junkie is appointed to head the EPA, the damage that he does to the reputation of the Obama Administration and the EPA will be a big boost to the Republican Party.

  21. I have five conservatives who ideally would serve in an Obama administration…

    Why not McCain as the EPA head, but developing EPA as something new and more powerful together with the Department of Energy? Combine the two positions and add some “climate czar” powers to it as well?

    Why not Jeb Bush as head of FEMA? He always was the most prepared and competent governor when it came to natural disasters and preparation.

    Why not former Republican Senator John Sununu at OMB? He was a fiscal wizard during his time with Reagan & Bush and was one of the few Republicans to rebuke Bush II from the get-go over the budget (along with Tom Coburn).

    Why not Mitt Romney @ Health & Human Services, to work on the healthcare plan Obama wants to get done? NO ONE has more constructive experience on this issue than Romney and he will bring a technocratic zeal to the position.

    Why not Chuck Hagel as the UN Ambassador? He understands the world like few others in government and would do what it takes to advance America’s interests.

    I am actually excited by the bipartisan plans being advanced to create an infrastructure stimulus plan that uses a 5 governor board to evaluate and decide on which projects are used (rather than the federal gov’t or Congress). I think we have some really great Republican & Democrat governors (Schweitzer, Daniels, Jindal, etc) in America who would do a fine job with this.

  22. In his first term, George W. Bush mixed State and Defense, putting Wolfowitz (who really is a diplomacy scholar) in Defense and Armitage (who was a perfect defense background) in State. Likewise, SecState Powell clearly had spent his career in the defense community, and while SecDef Rumsfled had previously had that job, his career had historically tracked George H.W. Bush, making him a more logical choice for state.

    If Obama follows suit, could we expect SecState McCain or Gates, and SecDef Kerry or Clinton?

  23. Wesley Clark? Uhgg. He was a political general only. I don’t see anything in performance or as a a post-general analyst on the news channels to suggest he would be any good. Read his book…he is a self-important ass.

    I don’t think McCain would be right for it either.

    I don’t know who Obama should have after Gates. There must a be Dem friendly corporate exec type with Defense experience who can be tapped. Or at least a repub who with the same who would be acceptable to Obama.

    Hmmm…how about Senator Jim Webb (ex-Marine officer, for Navy Secretary)? He won’t leave the senate I assume though.

    Obama will make a lot of security folks feel better if Gates is kept on at least for a year for some continuity during war time.

    I am sure somebody in Team Obama is suggesting Senator Clinton as Ambassador to Australia, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, The Klingon Empire, etc. That would be a funny memo to read.

  24. Purple: Can you really see Hillary Rodham-Clinton Targgh hunting? Better leave that job for Gov. Palin . . . She might do as SecState, though. In the primaries, one of the arguments was that she would work better with countries where Obama wasn’t so popular.

    Bill Clinton might make a good UN Ambassador, though. He already lives in New York, has a positive rep with many countries, and could probably use something to keep him out of trouble.

    As for Jim Webb, wasn’t he Secretary of the Navy for Reagan?

    Other possibilities for SecDef: Eric Shinseki or Fox Fallon. Being fired by Bush would appeal to Liberals; seeing problems their superiors did not might make them acceptable to the defense community.

    EPA: Christine Todd-Whitman held the job during W’s first term, but supposedly quit when her superiors wouldn’t let her do the job properly. If that supposition is true, she might be worth a shot.

  25. The US has jumped the shark with the election of a racist socialist for president. I will be amused by his disaster of an administration, even if it doesn’t last too long.

  26. Rachel Maddow — perhaps unwittingly — gives cause for us to root for Larry Summers as another choice in the centrist v. left battle over appointments. [1]

    “It’s hard to imagine the Obama administration wanting to have to devote the time necessary to sell the country on the idea of a guy who made himself famous at Harvard by suggesting that girls can’t do math,” said liberal MSNBC host Rachel Maddow.

    Larry Summers has already been humiliated by the left once [2] — will he cave to the Maddows of the world and let it happen again?

    (For those who don’t remember, the initial press reaction to Summers statements noting mean differences in interests between boys and girls were all over the place [3,4], but statistics continue to back him up. [5])

    [1] http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MGUzMDZiZWI0YTU5N2FkYTFlYTllNzQ5YzlkNzk4MDE=
    [2] http://www.gnxp.com/MT2/archives/003480.html
    [3] http://www.gnxp.com/MT2/archives/003491.html
    [4] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2005/02/04/hysterical-harvard.html
    [5] http://www.gnxp.com/blog/2008/07/summers-part-29476.php

  27. Michael: I think Obama staffers will find a post for Hilalry as afar away from DC as they can.

    “As for Jim Webb, wasn’t he Secretary of the Navy for Reagan?”

    Yep. Now he is a Dem Senator from Virginia.

    “Bill Clinton might make a good UN Ambassador, ”

    Make him a face for a public diplomacy effort: US Ambassador at Large to the Peoples (not govs) of the World.

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