The usual policy prescriptions for the economy no longer work because we are in the biggest financial mess since the Great Depression. Unlike normal times, it is more risky to be too cautious than taking risks. Obama must think "Big Bang." Most legislation passed in a presidential term occurs during the first few months of the presidency. After that, the honeymoon period ends, and passing big legislation becomes more difficult.
Offering McCain a position in the administration would be a good move. May be McCain can be Secretary of the Navy or the Director of Homeland Security. But I doubt he'd take the job given that a Democrat is governor of Arizona. But its worth the try.
As for Hillary Clinton, she's got a tough choice to make. She can be senator for life if she wants to. Being Secretary of State is a short term job. I don't recall a Secretary of State that lasted for more than 5 years.
Obama is very interested on how Lincoln put his rivals in his cabinet. Lincoln believed that putting rivals in his cabinet had two big benefits. First, they brought you diverse views and vigorous debate on policy matters, and second, it allowed him to watch his rivals. I think he is seriously thinking about asking Clinton to serve as Secretary of State.
However, giving up her senate seat is a very high price for Clinton to pay. Most Secretary of States don't last the full two presidential terms. On the other hand, Clinton has a good chance to move into leadership positions in the senate. Six secretary of states early in the Republic have moved on to become president. But in the end, after much thought, I think she'll turn down the position.
Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Martin Van Buren, James Buchanan, William Howard Taft and Herbert Hoover. The first six were all Secretary of States, William Howard Taft was Secretary of War, and Herbert Hoover was Secretary of Commerce.
Although not official cabinet members, FDR was Assistant Secretary of the Navy, and George Bush was the Director of the CIA.
In the early days of the country, moving from cabinet to the presidency was quite common, especially from the Secretary of State position. In recent history, it's much tougher to accomplish without holding elective office later.
Her husband Bob Creamer went to prison over a kiting scheme. However, I think it will probably be another woman. Jesse Jackson Jr., could be picked but a lot of people will have problems voting for him a general election because of his father.
Also known as Superfund, this legislation allowed for the cleanup of toxic waste dumps throughout America. The legislation was passed in 1980 after Reagan was elected president. Reagan would have never signed the legislation had he been president.
Clinton couldn't get a single Republican to cooperate with him on his economic policy. Fortunately, senate rules forbid fillibuster on budget matters.
In 1993, the fillibuster was used rarely. The tradition was that senators only fillibustered legislation that proposed great social change, like the Civil Rights Bill. Since then, 60 is the new majority. Obama is going to have to work real hard to keep all of the Democrats in line and to get just a couple of Republicans to pass his proposals.
Voters under 30 voted heavily for Obama because they want the cultural wars to end. They want their president to solve problems and move beyond the fights of the 1960s. Unfortunately, most lawmakers in Washington are now babyboomer and it will be very hard for them to change. Among these people, the Vietnam War and the social strife of the 1960s is what has shaped their world view. Enforcing a moral code is what's most important to them. I will be very surprised to see much cooperation from the Republicans.
The recession is going to hit manufacturing countries such as China the hardest. When recessions hit, people reduce buying manufacturing and durable goods the most. Food is not as cyclable because everyone needs to eat food to survive, while people can wait until they have money to buy durable goods.
However, China has come up with a very aggressive economic stimulus package which includes building a lot of infrastructure in the country. We'll see if this will prevent a depression in China.
Joe the plummer didn't work because we are now a diverse society and every one pictures Joe the plummer and six pack Joe as a white guy. Joe the plummer is no longer the only typical American. In fact, typical Americans do pay their taxes.
McCain's line "I'm not Bush, you should have run 4 years ago" did not work because everytime he said "I'm not Bush," everyone shook their heads and said "Yes you are." It was like Nixon saying, "I'm not a crook."
After the 1992 elections, the Democrats had 258 house seats. Looks like the Democrats are going to have right about 255 seats. In 1992, the Democrats ended up with 56 senate seats. This year, we're going to end up with 57 seats if you count Lieberman. Looks like the numbers are the same.
The big hope we have is that Obama has learned from the Clinton years and will be more on the ball from day one.