Archive for the ‘centrist’ Category

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:


Pelosi Worries Me….And Even Other Democrats

December 3, 2008

Sometimes….well ….  EVERY TIME Nancy Pelosi opens her mouth I start to worry….where will all the money come from and what will she suggest next….


Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) moves since the November elections have shaken up some of her colleagues, with some looking over their shoulders and others worried about how the Speaker will lead her expanded majority in 2009.

Next year is regarded as the biggest legislative opportunity for Democrats since 1993, the last time they controlled the White House and both chambers of Congress.

By Mike Soraghan
The Hill

But not all Democrats are celebrating. Liberals are worried about Pelosi’s vow to govern “from the middle” and centrists are concerned that the make-up of the House leadership team has shifted noticeably to the left.

Contrary to the jubilation of House Democrats after they regained control of the lower chamber after the 2006 elections, there is some unease among members heading into the 111th Congress.

“Everybody I talk to, everybody’s worried about something,” said a Democratic staffer.

Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) gestures during ... 
Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) gestures during a news conference on the financial restructuring plans submitted by U.S. automakers on Capitol Hill in Washington December 2, 2008.REUTERS/Yuri Gripas (UNITED STATES)

Pelosi’s effort to make some Democrats anxious could be a calculated maneuver as she seeks to maximize the effectiveness of her caucus heading into 2009. Pelosi’s hard-charging tone and decisions over the past month have sent a message to her colleagues: Don’t get too comfortable.

The seniority system that tempers the power of the Speaker is teetering, having received a body blow from Rep. Henry Waxman’s (D-Calif.) coup at the Energy and Commerce Committee.

When chairmen aren’t flinching at the possibility of a challenge from a junior member, they can look forward to being bounced by term limits in four years. That’s a change that Pelosi quietly endorsed in the 2007 House rules package.

Read the rest:


Pelosi Wants Another $700 Billion Or So In Bailour Money; Wants Also To “Make Well” Car Companies

Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today on the Labor Department’s announcement that the number of Americans continuing to receive unemployment benefits last week topped 4 million, the highest level in nearly 26 years.


“Despite the high level of continuing unemployment, the Bush Administration and Senate Republicans are still opposed to legislation the House passed in September that would create jobs and address urgent nutrition and health needs for those hurt by the recession.


“America needs bipartisan action now to get our economy back on track. Our House-passed legislation would begin the process of economic recovery by investing in job-creating infrastructure projects and helping struggling Americans with emergency food assistance and prevent deep cuts in health care and essential services. At a minimum, President Bush should support providing emergency food assistance and aid to states to maintain health care coverage for millions of Americans this holiday season.


“I again call on President Bush and Senate Republicans to work with us and get our economy moving again.”

Two statues of The Hill