Barack Obama will follow Lincoln’s lead in choosing bipartisan Cabinet

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by Maikeru-sama, Nov 17, 2008.

  1. Maikeru-sama

    Maikeru-sama Mick Green 58

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    November 17, 2008

    Barack Obama will follow Lincoln’s lead in choosing bipartisan Cabinet
    President-elect ready to hand top posts to ‘enemies’

    Barack Obama said today he would appoint at least one Republican to his cabinet as he praised the wisdom of Abraham Lincoln – a president who gave top posts to several of his bitterest political enemies.

    Mr Obama, who meets John McCain in Chicago tomorrow to discuss ways they can work together after he becomes president, said he would be announcing Cabinet appointments soon, days after he discussed with Hillary Clinton the possibility of making her his Secretary of State.

    In his first full interview since winning the election, Mr Obama described the challenges he faces when he takes office in January as "enormous" and "multiple".

    He made clear his determination to pick the most effective team to tackle them, even if it means choosing former rivals and Republicans.

    Mr Obama said he had spent "a lot of time" reading the writings of President Lincoln since the election, because "there is a wisdom there and a humility about his approach to government, even before he was president, that I just find very helpful."

    He and Mrs Clinton have both read and admired 'Team of Rivals', Doris Kearns Goodwin's book about how President Lincoln bought old foes into government after winning the 1860 election.

    Reminded that the 16th president put many of his political enemies in his cabinet, Mr Obama was asked on CBS's 60 Minutes whether he was considering the same approach. "Well, I'll tell you what," he replied. "I find him a very wise man."

    Aides to Mr Obama said a final decision on whether to appoint Mrs Clinton as Secretary of State - his former rival for the Democratic nomination - had not yet been made.

    But it is understood that both sides want it to happen. One internal debate centres on the foreign business dealings of Bill Clinton – and the list of donors to his presidential library - at a time when the president-elect has pledged transparency.

    If Mrs Clinton is appointed as America's top diplomat, an announcement could come as early as this week.

    James Carville, Mr Clinton's former strategist, said: "There is a lot of momentum on this. This thing could very well happen."

    The former First Lady's possible move to head the State Department also received the backing of two prominent Republicans today: Henry Kissinger, who held the post under Presidents Nixon and Ford, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, the California Governor.

    Mr McCain is not expected to be brought into the Obama Cabinet, but their discussions tomorrow will focus on how the Arizona senator, as he returns to Capitol Hill after his general election defeat, can help the new president on issues where there is common ground.

    They include reforming government, tackling global warming, banning torture by US personnel, and closing Guantanamo Bay.

    One Republican on a list of possible cabinet appointees is Chuck Hagel, the Nebraska senator and Vietnam War veteran who is leaving Congress in January. He was a longstanding critic of President Bush's Iraq strategy and decried Mr McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as his running-mate.

    Another Republican under debate is Robert Gates, Mr Bush's Secretary of Defence. Aides to Mr Obama have indicated that he may be asked to stay on, although his fate is still uncertain.

    One area where Mr Obama is not following Mr Lincoln is his groundbreaking use of the internet. On Saturday, he posted the first of what will be his weekly radio address on You Tube.

    As he looks to appoint more than 300 Cabinet secretaries, deputies and under-secretaries, and 2,500 political appointees,

    Mr Obama is using another former Republican president as a model: Ronald Reagan. He is focusing on forming his White House team first, before fleshing out cabinet positions, much like Mr Reagan did during his transition.

    The Obama team announced several more White House appointments yesterday, including Gregory Craig as his White House counsel. Mr Craig is a Washington veteran who headed Mr Clinton's impeachment defence. He was an early supporter of Mr Obama's and has been a senior adviser throughout his campaign.

  2. Maikeru-sama

    Maikeru-sama Mick Green 58

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    It is refreshing to hear that he plans to allow members of his opposition to join his team. I think it would be great if he chose John McCain to serve in his cabinet, but like the article says, it probably won't happen.

    I also like the idea of him trying to mold his adminstration and run the White House like Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan.

    At this point, I would have to say I am pleased with most of the things I am hearing from him.

    However, I hope he changes his mind about bailing out the Auto Industry. I am fiercely against a bailout, but looking at it from his point of view, I could see why he would want to do it.

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