Barack Obama argued for months that victory for his opponent would be akin to a third term for President Bush. But as he embarks on his own presidency, Mr. Obama faces the challenge of building an administration that does not look like a third term for former President Bill Clinton.Obama has never had to do anything in his public life except run for election. He has no background in administration and no team of people who can help him with that. He's got a bunch of intellectuals and talking-head courtiers surrounding him, plus the second tier losers from the Clinton administration who all wanted to get back at people who weren't nice to them last time. Guess what?
All the blogospheric people who have made an industry out of Clinton bashing and demonizing Bill's administration while refusing to hold anyone else accountable and who have been at the forefront of proclaiming what incredible change The Precious will bring to Washington are now having to deal with the very basic fact that the new preznit won't be able to do jack shit without using the people Left Blogistan loves to hate.
But this is only the beginning of a delicate balancing act for Mr. Obama: between bringing a new generation of leadership to Washington as a signal of his commitment to his pledge to change politics, and recruiting, at a time of intense economic and national security challenges, from the biggest pool of Democrats with national executive branch experience. ...
As he looks to build a presidency from scratch, Mr. Obama recognizes that he needs at least some of the expertise of the Clinton circles, advisers said. Most telling was his decision even before the election to tap Mr. Podesta, founder and president of the Center for American Progress, a Washington group widely viewed as Mrs. Clinton’s government-in-waiting until she lost.
Mr. Podesta put together an extensive team to plan for a possible Obama transition; not counting Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s representatives, all 10 members of the advisory board served in the Clinton administration. Still, some of them held relatively low-level positions in the Clinton era and were not identified so personally with the former president. And now Mr. Podesta is being joined by two co-chairmen, Valerie Jarrett and Pete Rouse, who are both close to Mr. Obama.
It's only The Village and the self-appointed "experts" (often members of the media or else Ivory Tower academics, all of them the worst kind of Stevensonians) of Left Blogistan who hate Clinton and Gore (and for pretty much the same reasons - their joint fantasy that they are opposing white trash racists) and who insist the Clinton administration was a failure. The rest of us can see that it held the line against the Movement Conservatives and would have done more save for the backstabbing of a complacent Congress. We can rationally criticize Clinton's administration without falling prey to CDS, which is why we can both be pleased to see some real policy wonks may be running the show and mock the Obamacans for having to confront the vacuity of their preferred candidate's political vision.
Big Dog's speech at the convention, the speech that actually defined the Democratic agenda according to a coherent, humane, and actionable ideology, remains the touch stone for what Democrats need to do to become the preferred choice for government, not just a way to reject the Movement Conservatives. The way to do that is not by hoping for change, but by getting over the internal culture wars of the party, rejecting the CDS of the Left as well as the Right, and building on the foundation that has already been laid.
Those of us who already started the change 16 years ago are waiting for the rest of you to catch up. We are the change you have been waiting for.