I’m not sure who’s been had—or by whom—but when Karl Rove likes the Democratic economic team, somebody’s been had:
Mr. Obama’s announcement of his economic team on Monday provided surprisingly positive clarity. He picked as Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, the respected, soft-spoken New York Fed president. Mr. Geithner has been a key player with Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke in confronting the financial crisis. Every major decision in the rescue effort came only after the three agreed.
The National Economic Council director-designee, Larry Summers, is another solid pick. Mr. Summers has been an advocate for trade liberalization, he was the Clinton administration’s negotiator for the financial deregulation known as Gramm-Leach-Bliley, and he even attempted to rein in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the 1990s.
Mr. Obama also named a respected monetary expert — Christina Romer — to head up his Council of Economic Advisors. On Tuesday he selected a first-rate thinker, Peter Orszag, to be director of the White House’s Office of Management and Budget.
Take a minute, why don’t you, to wipe up the coffee you just spewed all over the screen.
Now get ready for this:
The names floated for Barack Obama’s national security team “are drawn exclusively from conservative, centrist and pro-military circles without even a single — yes, not one! — chosen to represent the antiwar wing of the Democratic party.” In his plaintive post this week on the Nation magazine’s Web site, Robert Dreyfuss indulges in the political left’s wonderful talent for overstatement. But who are we to interfere with his despair?
If reports are correct, on Monday the President-elect will ask Robert Gates to stay on as Secretary of Defense and name retired Marine General James Jones as National Security Adviser. These are the Administration posts most critical to the successful conduct of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to possible entanglements with Iran, North Korea and who knows who else. With these personnel picks, Mr. Obama reveals a bias for competence, experience and continuity. Hence the caterwauls from his left flank.
The Gates selection is an implicit endorsement of President Bush’s “surge” in Iraq and its military architect, General David Petraeus.
The candidate of Hope and Change has demonstrated himself to be the candidate of Has and Been.
Don’t get me wrong: I supported John McCain, and this is exactly how I expected him to govern. But I don’t see the MoveOn.org crowd warming to “General Betray Us” and his ilk. I picture left wing loony types like Peace Mom Cindy Sheehan (17% in her bid to unseat Speaker Pelosi) gaping mutely like a hooked trout at the sight of Obama’s cabinet. What they feared most—four more years of Bush—may be exactly what they voted themselves.
Hey, Democratic donkeys—tell me how this ass tastes.