Saturday, November 22, 2008


Friday brought confirmation of a week-old rumor; Hillary Clinton will indeed become our next Secretary Of State in the new Obama Administration. Or, is that the right term to use at all? The list of confirmed and speculative Obama cabinet and advisory appointments is reading like a who's who list of former Clinton Administration officials. Perhaps "Clinton II" is a better description for what's shaping up. Clinton's third term, without Slick Willie himself being present (at least in any official capacity). Pause for thought. Hmmmmmmmmm. So much for change.

Perhaps, with the notable exception of Obama himself, I should dub this year as the "Year of the Retread." Because this allegedly "fresh and new" administration is poised to run on leftovers from the last Democratic administration. The appointment of The Dutchess as head of the State Department may be Obama's way of tossing a bone to her supporters, most of whom reluctantly voted for him after he beat her out for the nomination. But that hardly accounts for all the other former Clintonistas, beginning with "Rahmbo" Emanuel and veering hard left from there. Or is that really turning to the center? Hard to tell how this will play out. Obama may indeed head toward centerfield, once he's inaugurated. There is quite a bit of incentive, after all, for him to do so. He'll want that second term and he's smart enough to know that if he overreaches, becomes unpopular with the voters, and the Republicans can get their act halfway together, that sophomore season could well be denied him, ala Jimmy Carter.

That said, however, any supposed desire to govern from the middle may not be possible. There is a very leftist-led House and Senate to contend with, as well as the far-left lunatic fringe represented by the admittedly socialist billionaire, George Soros and his MoveOn.Org crowd. Obama would have to weigh his popularity with the public-at-large against his approval rating by the more rabid leftist members of his own party. And he might have to fight his own Congress, to remain centered at all. Would he veto any far-left legislation that lands on his desk, even if doing so would make him popular with the public? I just can't see him doing so. His hand would be forced in such a situation, to prevent a civil war within his own party.

And we can't forget that Obama is himself a dedicated leftist of the first caliber. Any detectible move to the center might be merely a feint, designed around generating popularity and attempting to calm the fears of many who didn't vote for him. As for his collection of Clintonistas and The Dutchess herself, they are no indication of a centrist stance at all. I would remind readers that Bill Clinton was forced to govern from the center, because of the Republican-controlled Congress he got stuck with in 1994. Democrats have the whole ball of wax now, for at least the next two years, and the GOP is in disarray, due for a major overhaul. If the Democrats can retain their majority in 2010 and Obama can stay popular enough to win re-election in 2012, look out! Once he's a lame duck, there'll be no more attempt to hold the center at all. Better hold on for that sharp left turn.

I may be checking out truck driving opportunities in Australia by then.

1 comment:

Dirk said...

Great analysis, Larry. I think Obama may find himself in a quandary more than once about center, left, or what? I think his inexperience will really show over and over.

By the way, there's an award waiting for you on my journal!