Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Obama's team of centrist rivals...

...Jim Jones, Hilary Clinton, Rahm Emmanuel, Eric Shinseki, Larry Summers, etc. Recipe for success or disaster? And does he risk losing the left wing of the democratic party?


  1. what do you mean "losing?" where else are they going to go? is eugene debs going to run again?

    i personally love the centrist nature of his cabinet.

  2. And hello again, from the perennial excuse-maker. I've got a few days off, at long last, and I had unfinished business on this blog.

    I'm very much an outsider on this post, and have no business commenting on this! - but for what little it's worth, I've read both of Obama's books, more than once.

    What I liked most about his ideas was the substantive focus on policy issues, and their merits in that capacity. He seemed to have this ability to acknowledge multiple facets of a problem - often articulating his opposition's arguments with a great deal more clarity than I suspect they might have had themselves - and finding innovative mechanisms to address the substantive claims on all sides of the debate.

    Perhaps that is what his new bipartisan cabinet is all about - picked more for their clarity and effectiveness in formulating and executing substantive or innovative policy, than for their political affiliations.

    Again, I acknowledge the danger in commenting on foreign, er, domestic policy. But I have to say that I recognised the relevance of some of his comments to my own country's political scenario. We have a bitterly divided political class, who are quick to abandon substantive policymaking for (or conflate it with) bipartisan point-scoring - and to use the latter to fill the media-space. (The Mumbai strike may have begun to change things.)

    There's a lot to be said for a leader who can combine different points of view in formulating his decisions. As we learned back in TP1, that is the hallmark of good policy-making.