Tuesday, December 2, 2008
That's the best summation of America's chief foreign policy objective over the last 7 years that I've seen so far.
BooMan on one hand believes that Obama's appointments give him at least the opportunity to reform the system from within by co-opting the people who have largely run it: Clinton appointees like Eric Holder and Larry Summers, influential establishment figures like Tom Daschle and Tim Geithner, and respected rivals like Hillary Clinton and Robert Gates.
On the other hand, Double G believes Obama's overly pragmatic, Serious Centrist Village-approved appointments are an indication that Obama will indeed turn into just another Washington politician, triangulating Clinton-style into a disaster that will bring heartbreak and disappointment as the GOP attacks his centrist approach as liberal insanity, surrounds him and destroys his agenda piece by piece.
Both sides have excellent points. We'll just have to wait until January 20 to see what Obama actually DOES.
Palin's decision to blanket the state with appearances -- and the rock-star reception she is receiving -- speaks to two basic facts about the former vice presidential nominee: she is beloved by the base of the party and she has absolutely no intention of stepping off the national stage any time soon....and what effect this has on Obama's coalition and the Dems hitting 60 in the Senate.
While Palin has been widely derided by many political commentators and many Democrats, it's hard to dispute that there is no more appealing face for the party faithful at the moment than her's.
Though few in the GOP base would admit it publicly, there is a significant weariness with President George W. Bush and, to a lesser extent, Sen. John McCain. Palin represents something totally different -- in the way she looks, the way she talks and in her résumé.
"She's a very, very fresh face for every Republican, and some independents, said Fred Davis, the lead media consultant for McCain's presidential race. "She is a breath of fresh air."
Today's runoff election between Martin and Chambliss will offer the first test of whether Obama is able to bequeath more to local allies than merely the trappings of a presidential campaign. The results may offer a tentative answer to questions that will ghost American politics for at least the next four years: Is there a sustainable Obama coalition, and is the Obama machine durable? Has Obama created anything greater than himself?Remember, Saxby Chambliss (and by extension, Sarah Palin) is now running on being Republican Senator Number 41 to stop Obama and the Democrats from destroying the universe or something. Chambliss has the lead in the polls, but a lot of big names have been swinging on Martin's behalf in the last week like the Goracle and the Big Dog.
"He has a political army that is truly impressive, but that kind of loyalty to a person rather than to an institution is not as transferable," said Donald Fowler, a former Democratic National Committee chairman. "Yet this is a new day and this is a new kind of organization: it is highly electronic and it might work."
For Democrats, the election has a far more urgent meaning: a victory here - along with one in Minnesota, where the votes in a disputed race are being recounted - would give them 60 members of the Senate, a supermajority that could block a Republican filibuster.
We'll see. If you're in from Georgia, go vote.
- India is demanding Pakistan hand over militants responsible for last week's Mumbai attack.
- Detroit's Big 3 head back to Washington, hats (and restructuring plans) in hand.
- Immunity legislation for telcos involved in illegal wiretapping goes before a Federal judge today.
- Another round of attacks in Baghdad claims 38 lives.
- There's Linux all over the iPhone, and Google's Android platform may come along for the ride.