Change, Or Same Old Same Old?

Posted on Mon 11/24/2008 by

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20080115_ap_obama_compCHUMP ‘CHANGE’

Geoff Metcalf

“See, they return, one, and by one; With fear, as half-awakened.” – Ezra Pound

Some people just don’t want to be confused with facts that contradict their preconceived opinions or prejudices.

During the presidential race, Democrats were so committed to “change” and the counterintuitive claim that McCain represented a third Bush term (despite McCain’s significant record of mucking up GOP goals and objectives) they somehow neglected to mention electing Barack Obama could result in a third Bill Clinton term.

Change can be good and experience is valuable. However, change for the sake of change is bad, and experience not tempered with lessons learned is bad.

As the President-elect fleshes out his cabinet, the potential potholes of Senate confirmation hearings are begrudgingly being acknowledged.

It has been reported that John Podesta told Senate aides that Obama hoped for a speedy confirmation so the new administration could get to work quickly thereafter. Good luck with that.

In the wake of past controversies involving some of his picks, the hearings could end up being bloody and/or hugely entertaining. So, as the dust settles and the Electoral College gets close to making it official, what will the new Barack Obama administration look like?  A lot like the Bill Clinton administration…warts and all.

* Hillary Clinton appears to have locked up the post of Secretary of State.
* Eric Holder seems destined to be Attorney General.
* Former Senate leader Tom Daschle is the apparent his health secretary.
* Partisan pit-bull Rahm Emmanuel is going to be Chief of Staff.
* Timothy Geithner has been tapped as Treasury secretary.
* Gov. Bill Richardson for commerce secretary.
* Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano for secretary of the Homeland Security Department.

The potential for conflicts is significant.

Richardson’s involvement in the Lewinsky mess may be minor (reportedly, he offered Monica Lewinsky a job at the United Nations in what prosecutors claimed was an attempt to buy her silence on behalf of President Bill Clinton), however, he also failed to properly safeguard nuclear secrets after he left his UN post to be energy secretary.

Napolitano could be haunted by her work in the Anita Hill sexual harassment case and Holder should expect questions over his support of President Clinton’s controversial pardon of Marc Rich.

None of the nominations are anywhere close to failing however, if the GOP hasn’t been totally neutered, there could be some entertaining delays.

In 2000 the Senate Armed Services Committee looked into inquiries into security lapses at Los Alamos National Laboratories. At the time, Sen. Robert Byrd (D) of West Virginia told Richardson he would never again receive Senate support for any office he sought.

“You have squandered your treasure,” Byrd told him. That was then…this is now.

Napolitano was re-elected Arizona’s governor in 2006, but is no stranger to Washington controversy. As a private attorney in 1991, Napolitano was part of the legal team representing Anita Hill, during Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas’s hearings when Hill had accused Thomas of sexual harassment.

At the time, some Republicans suggested she coached a witness for Hill into changing testimony. Napolitano flat out refused to answer questions about that. She claimed it would violate the lawyer-client confidentiality agreement.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton issued a statement in response to Obama’s decision to hire Clinton impeachment lawyer and controversial Washington, D.C., attorney Greg Craig as White House Counsel.

“It is disturbing that Barack Obama will allow Bill Clinton’s impeachment lawyer Greg Craig to serve as his White House Counsel.  Many thought Barack Obama had beaten the Clinton political machine.  Instead, he appears to have embraced it.  Given his defense of Bill Clinton’s lies and obstruction of justice, what sort of legal advice will Mr. Craig give to President Obama?  Will it all depend on what the meaning of ‘is’ is?”

Spokesman for the Republican National Committee, Alex Conant said, “Barack Obama is filling his administration with longtime Washington insiders.” Whatever happened to the ubiquitous “change” slogan?

Sen. Tom Daschle’s appointment for Secretary of Health and Human Services is not without potential conflict despite his uberinsider status. Democratic officials say the job is his barring any surprises. However, one potential hiccup will be the lobbying connections of his wife, Linda Hall Daschle, who has worked mostly on behalf of airline-related companies over the years.

Obama will change the face of the administration but although (like the Captain of the Titanic) he is rearranging the deck chairs, the names and faces suggest a return to past failures and may present some buyer’s remorse reality checks from the rabid Obama maniacs who were expecting (because they were told) something new, innovative and “fresh.”

FamilySecurity Matters.org Contributing Editor Geoff Metcalf, a former Green Beret and retired Army officer, is a nationally syndicated author and major market radio show host.

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