Archive for the ‘Bill Richardson’ Category

Geithner’s Hand Picked Deputy at Treasury Drops Out

March 6, 2009

The Obama Administration continues a trend tonight: unable to fill top government jobs with qualified and clean candidates.

Today, Sanjay Gupta took his name out of consideration as the only nominee as Sergeon General.  Gupta said he wanted to dedicate more time to his work at CNN but friends say he can’s give up his fat CNN pay check for the meager government pay.

At Treasury, Secretary Timothy “Can’t Work Turbotax” Geithner’s hand-picked deputy pulled her name out of consideration and will join Bill Richardson, Tom Daschle, Gupta and others in non-government work….

Good thing this is the administration of “hope.”  We hope it works…..

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/04/news
flash-wonderboy-treasury-secretary-is-in-ov
er-his-head/

*****

Daniel Wagner, AP Business Writer
.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s top pick to be his deputy withdrew from consideration Thursday, a setback for the agency as it confronts the worst financial crisis in decades.

Annette Nazareth, a former senior staffer and commissioner with the Securities and Exchange Commission, withdrew after several interviews and vetting of her financial history, a person familiar with Nazareth’s decision said.

But this person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because Geithner never publicly named Nazareth as his choice, said no problems with her taxes or other issues arose.

Nazareth, a partner at the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, could not be reached for comment. Treasury and White House officials would not comment on the matter.

Nazareth’s withdrawal from consideration comes as critics say Geithner’s lacks the senior staff he needs to make critical decisions about the financial crisis. Not one of his top 17 deputies has been named, let alone confirmed.

Without senior leadership, lower-level Treasury employees can’t make decisions or represent the government in crucial conversations with banks and others.

At a Senate hearing Thursday about failed insurance giant American International Group Inc. — which has received four separate bailouts totaling more than $170 billion — Sen. Chris Dodd said he had asked Treasury for someone to appear, but that no one was available.

Read the rest:
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Geithn
ers-choice-for-deputy-apf-14560893.html

Related:
$anjay Gupta Out of the Running for Surgeon General — Cha-Ching!

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Obama Commerce Secretary Nominee Judd Gregg Withdraws

February 12, 2009

Judd Gregg, the New Hampshire Republican Senator, has withdrawn his name for consideration as the Obama Adminisration Commerce Secretary.

Gregg said he had not fully agreed to the Obama White House plan to move the U.S. Census from the Commerce Department to the White House.

Gregg also did not support the stimulus.

Gregg gave a statement to reporters for TV cameras and said the president was very gracious throught this process….

Related:
Census, White House and Judd Gregg

Here is Judd Gregg’s statement:

Sen. Gregg stated, “I want to thank the President for nominating me to serve in his Cabinet as Secretary of Commerce.  This was a great honor, and I had felt that I could bring some views and ideas that would assist him in governing during this difficult time. I especially admire his willingness to reach across the aisle.

“However, it has become apparent during this process that this will not work for me as I have found that on issues such as the stimulus package and the Census there are irresolvable conflicts for me.  Prior to accepting this post, we had discussed these and other potential differences, but unfortunately we did not adequately focus on these concerns.  We are functioning from a different set of views on many critical items of policy.

“Obviously the President requires a team that is fully supportive of all his initiatives.

“I greatly admire President Obama and know our country will benefit from his leadership, but at this time I must withdraw my name from consideration for this position.

“As we move forward, I expect there will be many issues and initiatives where I can and will work to assure the success of the President’s proposals.  This will certainly be a goal of mine.

“Kathy and I also want to specifically thank Governor Lynch and Bonnie Newman for their friendship and assistance during this period.  In addition we wish to thank all the people, especially in New Hampshire, who have been so kind and generous in their supportive comments.

“As a further matter of clarification, nothing about the vetting process played any role in this decision.  I will continue to represent the people of New Hampshire in the United States Senate.”

developing…

This is the second Obama Commerce nominee to drop out.  Bill Richardson withdrew his name because of a grand jury investigation in his state house….

In this Feb. 3, 2009 file photo, then-Commerce Secretary-designate ... 
In  this Feb. 3, 2009 file photo, then-Commerce Secretary-designate Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., speaks in the Grand Foyer of the White House in Washington. Gregg has withdrawn his nomination to become President Barack Obama’s commerce secretary.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

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The Associated Press said:

Republican Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire abruptly withdrew his nomination as commerce secretary Thursday, citing “irresolvable conflicts” with President Barack Obama‘s handling of the economic stimulus and 2010 census.

“We are functioning from a different set of views on many critical items of policy,” Gregg said in a statement released by his Senate office.

Gregg, 61, is a former New Hampshire governor who previously served in the House. He has been in the Senate since 1993 and currently serves as the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, where he is known as a crusader against big spending.

He was Obama’s second choice to fill the Commerce portfolio.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson withdrew several weeks ago in the wake of a grand jury investigation into alleged wrongdoing involving state contracts. He has not been implicated personally.

In his statement, Gregg thanked Obama for the nomination, and said, “I especially admire his willingness to reach across the aisle.”

In citing the stimulus and census, he said, “Prior to accepting this post, we had discussed these and other potential differences, but unfortunately we did not adequately focus on these concerns. We are functioning from a different set of views on many critical items of policy.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/gregg_withdrawal

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/02/12/ju
dd-gregg-withdraws-nomination/

From Politico:
Over the span of just three months, Bill Richardson has gone from being on the shortlist for secretary of state to late-night punch line, a breathtaking descent that has tarnished his once-sparkling career.

Since withdrawing as the nominee for secretary of commerce in early January amid questions surrounding a federal grand jury investigation, New Mexico’s Democratic governor has seen his political fortunes crater. Once unmatched in his power and popularity in Santa Fe, Richardson’s grip on state politics has been weakened by the whiff of scandal, and home state opponents have been emboldened by his plummeting approval ratings — numbers that have dropped below 50 percent, according to a recent SurveyUSA poll.

“He’s had a pretty rough go of it since he withdrew,” said Timothy Jennings, a Democrat and New Mexico’s Senate president pro tempore. “His popularity has really declined in the state.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/2
0090212/pl_politico/18741_1

Barack Obama: Credibility Lost?

February 2, 2009

In two weeks as president, Barack Obama has thrown away his credibility and destroyed trust — more than any other President of the United States in the History of the Republic.

Let’s just say that for the sake of argument.

This is now like bleeding from a thousand cuts.

Related on FEB 3 about 1 PM Eastern:
Daschle Out; Major Obama Setback

Nothing like Bill Clinton’s early-going gays in the military effort or Hillary’s closed door try at revising the American medical system in the dawning days of Bill’s presidency….

But Barack Obama’s preaching about “bipartisanship” was not matched with actions as Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats crafted the economic stimulus package without taking into account Republican viewpoints.

Maybe if Barack had been in the Senate longer he’d know more about bipartisanship….

“We won” Republicans were told, when they objected to certain stimulus package goodies like funding to fight bird flu.

That only saves jobs if workers don’t die at work….

The Treasury Secretary admitted to tax evasion.  Ditto the president’s nominee for HHS, Tom Daschle.

Psst: This is what transparency gets us.  The right thing to do when things like this come up is to ask the guy to withdraw, not ask for an ‘exception.”

Nancy Killefer, who failed for a year and a half to pay employment taxes on household help, has withdrawn her President Obama nomination to be the first chief performance officer for the federal government, the White House said Tuesday.

Chief Performance Officer Nancy Killefer
Nancy Killefer
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Robert Gibbs
 
White House spokesman Gibbs said, “Nobody’s perfect.”  Did he mean Daschle?

The nominee for Deputy Secretary of Defense used to be a lobbyist.  He’s still in the running, despite the president’s vows against lobbyists and for ethics.

On al-Arabiya TV the president made a plea to Muslims.  So Iran demanded an apology for American wrongs.

Just 11% of U.S. voters think America should apologize to Iran for “crimes” against the Islamic country.

The stimulus bill written by Democrats has a “buy American provision.”  China, Germany and others objected.

Canada hopes U.S. officials will exempt America’s top trading partner from “Buy American” provisions in the economic stimulus bill before Barack Obama arrives in Canada this month for his first foreign trip as president.

The stimulus, meant to create jobs, contained at least two two questionable items  — $75 million for smoking cessation programs and $400 million to slow the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted disease.  Both  have already been dropped from the most recent draft of the measure.  You can recall others like the sod for the Mall in Washington DC….

Nearly half of U.S. voters (49%) say Barack Obama is politically more liberal than they are.

The president promised to close Gitmo and pull out of Iraq.  He has done neither: but has angered some militay people.

He has cut defense by 10% and started to discontinue the term “war on terror.”

The president has opened an exchange of words with radio personality Rush Limbaugh….

The number of voters saying Obama is more liberal than they thought on election day is growing…..

Tough two weeks.  Even with a dedicated Democratic House and Senate the public can lose trust and confidence …..

John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

Related:
Mullen: Cash crunch threatens US security, Defense Spending

Obama Orders U.S. Defense Cut 10%

Under Obama, `war on terror’ catchphrase fading

 Obama Team Wants Pentagon Budget Focused More on Current War, Less on Future Programs

Obama Told His Actions On Gitmo Could “jeopardize those who are fighting the war on terror”

Troubling Obama Trends Seen By Some In Military? Why Die For “Limited Goals” In Afghanistan?

Obama’s Unnecessary Muslim Apologia; Misguided on al-Qaeda

US President Barack Obama, seen here on January 29, 2009, sits ... 
US President Barack Obama, seen here on January 29, 2009, sits alongside Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

CNN:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS
/02/02/campbell.brown.transparenc
y/index.html

The New York Times also has an editorial on Tuesday suggesting that Mr. Daschle should withdraw his name too.

Bill Richardson withdrew after being nominated as Commerce Secretary as a grand jury was at work investigating portions of his state government.

Senators question Daschle’s late tax filing

February 1, 2009

Republican and Democratic senators on Sunday questioned how former Sen. Tom Daschle could make a $128,203 mistake on his taxes but said they were not prepared to oppose his nomination as health secretary.

“You have to be troubled by it,” said Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate.

“We’ll have to question former Sen. Daschle and understand his explanation, and then have a conversation about it and see where it goes,” Kyl said on “Fox News Sunday.” As to how much trouble the tax issue could present for the nomination, he said, “I think it’s too early to tell.”

By DOUGLASS K. DANIEL, Associated Press

Angry Republican senators, including Jon Kyl of Arizona, seen ... 
Angry Republican senators, including Jon Kyl of Arizona, seen here in a 2008 Fox News Sunday(FNS) handout, vowed Thursday to put up a fight against President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus bill after the package passed the House of Representatives with no opposition support.(AFP/FNS-HO/File)

Daschle recently filed amended tax returns to report $128,203 in back taxes and $11,964 in interest. The amended returns reflect additional income for consulting work, the use of a car service and reduced deductions for charitable contributions.

The South Dakota Democrat, once the majority leader of the Senate, was scheduled to meet privately Monday with the Senate Finance Committee.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said he was surprised that Daschle had not paid his taxes properly but would not say whether he thought the nomination was in trouble. He said the committee will make a recommendation to the full Senate. “I think I’m going to just wait until they give me their opinion,” he told CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., said the problem could disqualify Daschle but that he wanted to learn more about the matter.

“It’s disheartening, obviously. People are struggling to pay taxes on a very small amount of income and he’s got this huge amount,” DeMint said on ABC’s “This Week.”

Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, also said the tax problem was a concern and needed more explaining, telling CNN’s “State of the Union” that it involved “an awful lot of money” but that she had not decided to vote against confirmation.

On the Democratic side, Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska called it “a tough issue” and said he was waiting to hear the results of the meeting between Daschle and the Finance Committee.

“I’m not prepared at this point in time to vote no,” Nelson told CNN.

The Senate‘s No. 2 Democrat, Dick Durbin of Illinois, defended Daschle but said skepticism, even cynicism, about Daschle not paying his taxes was understandable.

“But if you know Tom Daschle, you know better,” Durbin said on Fox. “He’s found himself having made a mistake and admitted to it. He took the steps necessary to start paying the taxes, make sure they’re paid. Now, that’s the right thing to do. I believe Tom Daschle’s one of the most honest people I’ve ever known or worked with in public life.”

Daschle, chosen by President Obama to lead the administration’s health initiatives, is the second Cabinet nominee to scramble to pay back taxes. Timothy Geithner’s confirmation as treasury secretary was delayed after it was revealed that he had failed to pay more than $34,000 in taxes.

Obama’s first choice for commerce secretary, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, took his name out of consideration when his confirmation appeared headed toward complications because of a grand jury investigation over how state contracts were issued to political donors.

“President Obama wanted to have a very ethical administration starting out and so on, but I think he’s seeing how hard it is to avoid these kind of problems,” Kyl said. “And I just wonder, if President Bush had nominated these people, what folks would be saying about that.”

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Later on Sunday on “Meet the Press” (NBC) Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) also said she had concerns about Mr. Daschle, even though she said, “I like him personally.”

Meet the Press transcript:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28964188/

Related:
 If Bush Had Nominated Daschle, Would He Have Been Confirmed?

If Bush Had Nominated Daschle, Would He Have Been Confirmed?

February 1, 2009

Senator Jon Kyle (R-AZ) asked on the Chris Wallace Sunday morning news show, “If Former Senator Tom Daschle had been nominated by President George W. Bush, would he have been confirmed?”

Mr. Daschle apparently failed to pay his full income taxes.

Kyle associated Daschle with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, who also had a failure to pay due taxes problem, Commerce Secretary nominee Bill Richardson, who withdrew his name while his state was under a grand jury investigation, and Mr. Bill Lynn, the nominee for Deputy Secretary of Defense, who was a lobbyist.

Daschle’s troubles are of concern because President Obama promised that he would uphold the highest standard of ethics and he would bar lobbyists from his administration.

William Krisol also said on the Fox news broadcast, “Daschle is a ‘limousine liberal’ that doesn’t even pay his taxes.”

Daschle also accepted more than $200,000 from health care groups for speeches; a possible conflict of interest.

Related:
Daschle Knew of Tax Issues Last June, Raising Questions on Obama Vetting Process, Ethics

The president’s pick for health secretary, Tom Daschle, failed to pay $128,000 in taxes. Photo: Brendan Smialowski for The New York Times

http://www.bigbook.eu/senators-questi
on-daschles-late-tax-filing

Daschle Knew of Tax Issues Last June, Raising Questions on Obama Vetting Process, Ethics

February 1, 2009

In most administration, Tom Daschle would have been politely asked to withdraw his name from consideration as a cabinet secretary by now.

He is caught in a web of lies and deciet and money and taxes.  But the current Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner emerged from that same kind of morass, one of his own making but not as blatant or large as Daschle’s, because he was just too an important a man in these tough global economic times.

Talent trumps ethics in this White House.

The president’s pick for health secretary, Tom Daschle, failed to pay $128,000 in taxes. Photo: Brendan Smialowski for The New York Times

The New York Times reported today that President Obama’s choice for health secretary, Tom Daschle, was aware as early as last June that he might have to pay back taxes for the use of a car and driver provided by a private equity firm, but did not inform the Obama transition team until weeks after Mr. Obama named him to the health secretary’s post, senior administration officials said Saturday.

As Senate Democrats rushed to save the nomination of Mr. Daschle, their former leader, the White House spent the day trying to explain how he survived its vetting process despite his failure to pay $128,000 in taxes.

Now we have two scandels or maybe more.

How did Daschle get past the rigorous Team Obama vetting process?

Why has Daschle been allowed to continue as HHS Secretary wannabe?

And what about Mr. Geithner?

Robert Gibbs, the Obama press spokesman said, “The president believes that nobody is perfect.”

Is this the too hard for Turbotax White House?

Apparently not in this administration because the vetting process cannot find the most obvious, egregious forms of law breaking.

And that raises the issue of Bill Richardson, the preisent’s first nominee for Commerce Secretary.  He pulled his name out even though he has not been charged with any crime…

Related:
 Geithner, Daschle Remind Us, Taxes Too Hard for Democrats; How Can They Create a Workable Stimulus?

New York Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/01/u
s/politics/01daschle.html?_r=1&hp

Related:
 Obama’s HHS Secretary Nominee Daschle Faces Tax Questions

Michelle Malkin:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/01/31/what
-will-the-bend-over-republicans-do-with-ta
x-cheat-tom-daschle/

 Bill Richardson Exits Obama Cabinet Under The Cloud of Possible Corruption

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson is seen at the University ...
Bill Richardson pulled his name from consideration as Obama’s Commerce Secretary and may stand as the most ethical of the Obama nominees.  Unless the grand jury says otherwise….

Democratic Scandals Boring, Less Sexual, But Genuine

January 5, 2009

For many years, Republicans represented the party of salacious homosexual bathroom sex-trysts while Democrats confined themselves to more workaday financial improprieties, such as storing massive collections of marked bills in their freezers. You’d have been hard pressed to pin a pay-for-play scheme on a Democrat because they were too unimportant: they just didn’t have any political influence worth selling.

By Sara Smith
News 4, NBC, New York

Now Democrats have reclaimed the White House and both parties of Congress, so of course they’re obliged to pull double duty in both sexual and political scandals. Let’s see, they’ve got the sex scandals pretty well covered: who can forget such luminaries as Eliot Spitzer, Patron Saint of Hookers; Tim Mahoney, the proud Florida Democrat with multiple mistresses who replaced the Republican with the “drinking problem”; the lizard-tongued humanoid adulterer John Edwards; and last but not least, America’s greatest mayor and sexiest texter, Kwame Kilpatrick.

A recent flood of news about Democrats doing improper, non-sexual stuff for favors means they’ve got the political side of scandals covered, too. Let’s review:

And the latest: the portly and affable Bill Richardson, who couldn’t be Secretary of State because he would have been murdered, personally, by the Clintons, so instead he settled for Commerce Secretary before he got roped into a grand jury investigation. Apparently some brilliant financial company that advised Jefferson County, Alabama into near-bankruptcy was also hired to work its magic on the state of New Mexico after it donated 100 grand to various political action committees formed by Bill Richardson.

 New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson is seen at the University ...
Bill Richardson

So now Richardson has said to Barack Obama, “Pls do not consider me for Commerce, as I have this little grand jury problem to deal with.” This is really too bad, because Bill Richardson spoke Spanish! Also he was very smart, and experienced in talking with nasty dictators. Now Obama will have to find some other sucker to help him revive the economy and control the weather.

Related:
 Carville’s 2009 Predictions: Stand By For More Democrat Scandals
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John Edwards
Lizard-tongued what?

William Jefferson, official photo.jpg

Above: Democratic Congressman William “the Refrigerator” Jefferson of Louisiana in better days….


Former New York Governor’s “friend”….

Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., smiles as he leaves the House of ... 
Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., smiles as he leaves the House of Representatives, Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2008. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Obama: Election Day to Inauguration Day Has Been Exciting; And It Isn’t Over Yet

January 4, 2009

His U.S. Senate seat may have been for sale by his home state Governor.  His “replacement” is under siege and may not be seated.

His Commerce Secretary pick is exiting amid a grand jury investigation.

Related:
Obama: Nation’s Hopes Never Higher, Times Seldom Tougher, Give Us Your Highest Vision

And his plans for a new Middle East policy may  have to be changed yet again a few times before the inauguration.

His domestic team has to be in some turmoil too: the auto company bailout isn’t comlete, there is some growing dismay at all the money thrown around by the Treasury while trying to get the economy jump started and his own “stimulus” may top $1 Trillion.

Even his choice of  Rick Warren to pray the invocation was not heard with gaiety….

For Barack Obama, just getting from Election Day to Inauguration Day has been exciting.

Hopes for a new American President have never been higher at home and internationally.

But there have never been so many roadblocks in the way of a smooth ride either.

Bill Richardson Exits Obama Cabinet Under The Cloud of Possible Corruption

January 4, 2009

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson says he is withdrawing his nomination to be President-elect Barack Obamas commerce secretary amid a grand jury investigation.

Obama said in a statement Sunday that he accepted Richardson’s withdrawal “with deep regret” but that the governor was putting the nation first to avoid any delay in filling the Cabinet post.

A federal grand jury is investigating how a California company that contributed to Richardson’s political activities won a New Mexico state contract worth more than $1 billion.

Richardson said in a statement issued by Obama’s transition office that the investigation could take weeks or months and he couldn’t ask Obama to delay the Commerce Department’s work. Richardson said the investigation will show that he “acted properly in all matters.”

Richardson’s withdrawal was the first disruption of Obama’s Cabinet process and the second “pay-to-play” investigation that has touched Obama’s transition to the presidency. The president-elect has remained above the fray in both the case of arrested Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and the New Mexico case.

–Associated Press

Read the entire report:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/richardson

******

From The New York Times:
The Richardson withdrawal, first reported Sunday afternoon by NBC News, raises questions about the thoroughness of the Obama team’s vetting process, which had been touted as one of the most stringent ever. Stories about the investigation of the CDR contract and of the donations by David Rubin — the president of CDR and a major Democratic contributor — to the Richardson-linked political action committees have appeared in news reports at least since August.

Read the entire article:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/05/us/
politics/05richardson.html?_r=1&hp

Related:
Carville’s 2009 Predictions: Stand By For More Democrat Scandals

US President-elect Barack Obama (L) listens to New Mexico Governor ... 
US President-elect Barack Obama (L) listens to New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson after announcing Richardson as his nominee for commerce secretary during a news conference in Chicago December 3, 2008.(John Gress/Reuters)

Obama Cabinet: pragmatism could leave them rudderless, without intellectual cohesion

December 20, 2008

Placing too much emphasis on pragmatism could leave the Obama team rudderless and without intellectual cohesion.
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“Pragmatism has its place, but there are limits, as well,” said Peter Wehner, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

“If you aren’t anchored to a political philosophy, you get blown about, and government becomes ad hoc and you make it up as you go — and if you’re not careful, you begin to go in circles,” said Wehner….

By Alec MacGillis
Washington Post

President-elect Barack Obama wrapped up his Cabinet appointments yesterday, meeting his ambitious holiday deadline by assembling a team full of outsize personalities with overlapping jurisdictions and nominees who are known more for pragmatism than for strong leanings on the issues they will oversee.

In Chicago, the president-elect announced his picks to lead the Departments of Labor and Transportation, the Small Business Administration and the office of trade representative. The announcement of the labor nominee, Rep. Hilda L. Solis (D-Calif.), the daughter of a union family who has a strongly pro-labor voting record, came as a relief to some liberals who had grown slightly anxious about Obama’s commitment to organized labor’s agenda. “She’s an inspired choice from a working-class background, who represented a working-class district with middle-class sensibilities,” said AFL-CIO legislative director Bill Samuels.

Ken Salazar (L) speaks while US president-elect Barack Obama ... 
Ken Salazar (L) speaks while US president-elect Barack Obama listens during a press conference to nominate Salazar as Secretary of the Interior in Chicago. Obama Wednesday filled out his incoming cabinet with nominees to take over the agriculture and interior departments, two hot-button jobs where controversy is never far.(AFP/Nicholas Kamm)

But many of Obama’s other picks reflect his apparent preference for practical-minded centrists who have straddled big policy debates rather than staking out the strongest pro-reform positions. Their reputations as moderates have won Obama plaudits….

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/art
icle/2008/12/19/AR2008121902086.html

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By CHARLES BABINGTON, Associated Press Writer

Barack Obama has wholeheartedly embraced experience in choosing his Cabinet.

That may seem at odds with the president-elect’s campaign theme of “change we can believe in.” But some Democratic activists and nonpartisan analysts say it makes sense, given the dire economy and public anxiety.

Obama has tapped senators and representatives, governors and veteran bureaucrats to help him confront the challenges of two wars, a crippled financial system and a deepening recession.

“In uncertain times, Americans find it much more comforting that the people who are going to be advising the president are steeped in experience,” said Rutgers University political scientist Ross Baker. “A Cabinet of outsiders would have been very disquieting.”

To be sure, Obama’s inner circle includes far more veterans of elected office and federal agencies than government newcomers.

More so than his recent predecessors, he has drawn heavily from the Senate for top advisers. His choices for secretary of state (Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York), interior secretary (Ken Salazar of Colorado) and vice president (Joe Biden of Delaware) were fellow senators. Tom Daschle, named health secretary, was the Senate Democratic leader from South Dakota until he lost his seat in 2004.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081220/ap_ca/obama_cabinet_5