There is no need to quote Chris Bowers or anyone else over at Open Left who are insistent in applying old metrics to new situations. Everything for them is this Progressive vs. Conservative model which is completely absurd when no one even agrees with what Progressive. What is completely faulty in his world view is that people are only one thing - Progressive or Conservative - when we know people are multi-dimensional and can be Progressive at times and Conservative at other times. A Cabinet member is by definition narrow in his scope unlike a Congressman. And then what do you do about people like Chu, Duncan, Donovan, Shinseki, Rice...
And this doesn't even get in to the fact that people change. Obama has articulated a completely clear vision. He mobilized thousands of people to believe we can accomplish things that they didn't use to think they could do. The people in his cabinet are not immune that the Change we can believe in is also the Change within ourselves.
I ask the community of Democratic activists, who did so much to elect Obama, to hold his feet to the fire next year on delivering the comprehensive health care reform he promised.
Instead of making statements like this based on unfounded mistrust you should implore everyone to join in the effort to hold their Representatives' feet to the fire to pass what clearly was part of the Obama mandate. As Ezra Klein has pointed out about the Daschle appointment, as we have seen with clear statements of Sen. Kennedy's sub-committee appointments, as we have seen in almost every economic pronouncement by the Pres-elect where he brings up health care reform as part of the necessary steps which must be taken as part of the recovery plan, it is clear Obama's feet are on fire and what is needed is not vigilant watchdogs but foot soldiers in the effort to get this done immediately.
There hasn't been a single sign by Obama that he is waffling on this commitment, in fact it's been just the opposite. The time for cynicism is over. It is time for action based on pragmatic optimism. Part of Yes, We Can is exactly this. Yes we can get it done. Not just he, but we. If anyone's feet need to be held to the fire it's us. Let's get it done.
Thank you, Sarah Palin, for driving my never voted for a Democrat in her life Mom to cast her ballot for Barack Obama this year.
Who has the oldest "never voted for a Democrat but voted for Obama" parent? I submit my father, age 91, who specifically tied Sarah Palin to his vote. He got so discombobulated by the experience of pulling the Dem lever that he ended up voting the straight Democratic ticket. So yes, thank you Sarah Palin.
Shaun, excellent as always and an interesting follow-up discussion. One aspect of the Hillary selection which I think has been overlooked a bit is Bill's role. For all the reasons which have made the vetting process so difficult, and un-checked Bill was a difficult resource to utilize. But with him now curtailing his conflicts of interests, Barack can use him more frequently and to better purpose. The incentive of a possible Noble prize down the road and etching her name firmly into the annals of History is an excellent point for why Hillary would choose to do it, as well as Bill as this certainly would help put his legacy back on the footing he seeks. But putting aside all the ego-Clinton reasons, with a reined in Bill Obama is free to simultaneously send Hillary into the Palestinian conflict and Bill into the India-Pakistan-Kashmir mess, taking on what are probably the two most dangerous conflicts threatening World Peace from day one.
I think too much has been made of the Rival part of the Obama selections and not enough of the Team. To keep it in the sports metaphor, Coach Obama realizes he has a very deep bench and he's going to utilize it to its fullest. The worry that there won't be enough minutes to go around is never a concern if you're winning and this a team built to win. To shift Hillary away from Health Care, where we've got it covered with Daschle and Kennedy, to State where she can fully utilize the Clinton name and prestige is really a brilliant maneuver. And as we are seeing with shifting Richardson to Commerce and potentially Summers to Federal Reserve, Obama is not choosing between people but rather calling all hands on deck. I'm really eager to see his energy-environment-green jobs construct.
Dean would be an excellent choice for Chairman of the Federal Heath Board which is an idea Daschle has been promoting for some time:
In many ways, the Federal Health Board would resemble our current Federal Reserve Board for the banking industry. Just as the Federal Reserve ensures certain standards, transparency and performance for our banking industry, the Fed Health would ensure harmonization across public programs of health-care protocols, benefits, and transparency. Ultimately, the Fed Health would offer a public framework within which a private health-care system could operate more effectively and efficiently.
Having Daschle push the political aspect of the reform coordinating with Teddy Kennedy and his team, and then have Dr. Dean involved in the more nitty-gritty medical aspects of the reform plan is a great use of everyone's talents.
Here's the link to Daschle's proposal from March 3rd of this year on Huffington Post:
It is not coincidental that the day after he delivers his "no association has ever meant more to me than that" line it is leaked that Palin used the Ayers connection smear before McCain signed off on it. For sure they will be throwing Palin under the proverbial bus on quite a few items in their attempt to walk John back to his respected status of the old McCain. What will be interesting is to see what's going to come out of Comedian Rush and others when they start positioning their favorite female puppet as the figurehead of the extreme wing of their party.
Nate Silver over at FiveThirtyEight dotcom did an interesting analysis of what Palin's "wonderful little pockets" of America actually look like. His finding:
Since her coming out in Dayton, Ohio on August, 29th, Palin has held (or is scheduled to hold) public events in 44 cities according to the Slate.com candidate tracker. These include all events described as "rallies", "town halls", "gatherings" or "discussions", but not things like press availabilities, fundraisers or debates.
I looked at the racial composition of voting-age (18+) population in these 44 cities as according to the 2000 census.** They are, on average, 83.3 percent non-Hispanic white, 7.5 percent black, 5.2 percent Hispanic, and 4.0 percent "other". By comparison, the US 18+ population in 2000 was 72.0 percent white, 11.2 percent black, 11.0 percent Hispanic, and 5.9 percent other. Thirty-four of Palin's 44 cities were whiter than the US average.
Over the same interval, Barack Obama had public events scheduled in 48 distinct cities. The racial composition of these cities was 69.8 percent white, 17.4 percent black, 8.9 percent Hispanic, and 4.0 percent other. The percentage of whites very nearly matches the US average 72.0 percent; 22 of Obama's cities were whiter than average, and the other 26 were less white than average.
Although a certain amount of this can be chalked up to the political calculation that Obama has won the Black vote and there's no reason to waste time in those areas, when you think about the nature of the job McCain/Palin is after a 50-State strategy should not be a "strategy" at all but should be a requirement.
What a difference in Obama's campaign which exemplifies a campaign run by people who believe in uniting, not dividing the country. From an article in the Wall Street Journal:
Since the end of June, ads for the senator have run almost nonstop across Montana, even though Arizona Sen. John McCain is leading his Democratic counterpart in the state by five to 11 percentage points in the latest polls. Sen. Obama has 20 campaign offices in "Big Sky Country," including the first ever for a presidential candidate in this eastern Montana cow town. The candidate has made five campaign visits to Montana...
Few places are less likely to go for Sen. Obama than here in the badlands around Miles City, a staunchly conservative ranching town of about 8,500. Yet the campaign has an office in a downtown hotel and has had volunteers canvassing streets and country roads in search of votes the past few weeks...
This, Miss Sarah, is what a real campaign for the President of the real United States should look like, not one based on snide and cynical comments which seek to divide us between rural and urban America.