Archive for the ‘center’ Category

Obama: Move Toward the Center is Smart

December 27, 2008

Barack Obama is an annoying guy.

As of last week the U. S. President-elect had announced 20 cabinet appointments. Of these, only five are women. Granted, these women will hold some of the most powerful positions in the government; head of homeland security, secretary of state, labor secretary, ambassador to the UN, environmental protection agency boss.

Even so, CNN reports, some women’s groups are displeased. “There need to be a lot more women’s voices in this administration,” says Kim Gandy, of the National Organization for Women.

Gays and lesbians are irked at Obama too. During the primaries and in the presidential campaign he promised to be a strong advocate for them. But now he’s up and invited a conservative preacher, Rick Warren, to lead the invocation at his inauguration on Jan. 20.

Evangelical Pastor Rick Warren delivers a speech during the ... 
Rick Warren

Warren is strongly pro-life and staunchly opposed to same-sex marriage.

Zounds, say the liberals: How could our guy do such a thing? Aren’t there plenty of good liberal preachers around, people who actually backed Obama for the Presidency?

Others are upset, reportedly, because of Obama’s decision to leave Robert Gates in charge at the Pentagon. Gates is a holdover from the hated Bush administration and an implementer of the illegal war in Iraq. How could he possibly have a seat at Obama’s table?

You can hear the chatter percolating in the coffee houses and on the university campuses: He’s not even president yet, and already he’s walking away from some of our most deeply held positions. How could he?

Obama is doing precisely the right thing. In walking away from the leftist fringe and hewing to the centre, he is creating the much larger coalition that he absolutely needs if he is to succeed as president.

For this presidency will not be about business as usual. The United States faces a staggering trillion-dollar deficit next year.

Its military is at war on two fronts and struggling on one, in Afghanistan. It faces unfunded pension obligations that threaten national bankruptcy well into the future.

Editorial
The Sun Times
Ontario, Canada

The “Real” Obama: How Centrist?

December 12, 2008

Barack Obama has garnered praise from center to right — and has highly irritated the left — with the centrism of his major appointments. Because Obama’s own beliefs remain largely opaque, his appointments have led to the conclusion that he intends to govern from the center.

Obama the centrist? I’m not so sure. Take the foreign policy team: Hillary Clinton, James Jones and Bush holdover Robert Gates. As centrist as you can get. But the choice was far less ideological than practical. Obama has no intention of being a foreign policy president. Unlike, say, Nixon or Reagan, he does not have aspirations abroad. He simply wants quiet on his eastern and western fronts so that he can proceed with what he really cares about — his domestic agenda.

 Charles Krauthammer
The Washington Post
Friday, December 12, 2008; Page A27

Similarly his senior economic team, the brilliant trio of Tim Geithner, Larry Summers and Paul Volcker: centrist, experienced and mainstream. But their principal task is to stabilize the financial system, a highly pragmatic task in which Obama has no particular ideological stake.
A functioning financial system is a necessary condition for a successful Obama presidency. As in foreign policy, Obama wants experts and veterans to manage and pacify universes in which he has little experience and less personal commitment. Their job is to keep credit flowing and the world at bay so that Obama can address his real ambition: to effect a domestic transformation as grand and ambitious as Franklin Roosevelt’s.

As Obama revealingly said just last week, “This painful crisis also provides us with an opportunity to transform our economy to improve the lives of ordinary people.” Transformation is his mission. Crisis provides the opportunity. The election provides him the power.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/w
p-dyn/content/article/2008/12/11
/AR2008121102951.html?hpid=
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