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Obama: The Establishment Candidate? December 20, 2008

Posted by neoavatara in Health Care, Politics.
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Obama Cabinet

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28323330/

Mr. Obama’s cabinet has been virtually finalized with the picks of Rep. Hilda L. Solis (D-Calif.) to head the Labor Department, former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk for U.S. trade representative and venture capitalist Karen Mills to head the Small Business Administration.

After looking at the entirety of the Cabinet, one thing is for certain; it is a very moderate group.  In fact, it looks very much like an ‘old establishment’ group.  Most are carry overs from the Clinton administration.  And none really can be considered outsiders.  Ms. Solis at Labor, clearly a give the Unions, would be considered the one true progressive in the bunch.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan has been open to more conservative ideas.  Obama’s pick for interior secretary, Sen. Ken Salazar (D-Colo.), was welcomed by industry groups reassured by his support for expanded offshore drilling.  Tom Vilsack’s nomination for Agriculture was cheered by groups representing big agricultural interests, which praise him for his support of biotechnology and subsidies for corn-based ethanol.

Of course, this doesn’t even begin to discuss foreign affairs, where both Hillary Clinton at State and Robert Gates at Defense (a Pres. Bush carry over, in fact) lead the foreign policy team.  Both were in favor of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars at the start, for example.  Not one significant member of the administration in foreign policy, other than Obama himself, was against invading Iraq.

These are just a few examples.  And clearly, this says nothing about competence.  All of the Cabinet choices can be said, at the very least, to be experienced politicians.  Whether they are reformers is to be seen. Mr. Obama has continually said that he and he alone will bring change.  That is good rhetoric, but changing the massive federal bureaucracyf rom the chair in the Oval Office on a daily basis is an almost impossible gargantuan tasks.  Daily changes occur from the chair of the Secretaries…and whether his will promote real change is something that is up for debate.

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