President-elect Obama's campaign slogan was "Change We Need," and even today his campaign website sports the following quote: "I'm asking you to believe. Not just in my ability to bring about real change in Washington...I'm asking you to believe in yours."
Oh, really? I never did buy into the myth that Senator Obama was anything but a creature of Washington politics (a short-term one, of course, since he'd been in federal office only some three years before he was elected president). But now we have proof. And I'm not talking about his widely criticized (by conservatives) as well as widely praised (by liberals) move to name Rep. Rahm Emanuel his White House chief of staff.
I'm also talking about this article in USA Today:
WASHINGTON—President-elect Barack Obama says moneyed interests won't have an inside track in his White House, but six of the 15 people he named to his transition team are top fundraisers.
They include Julius Genachowski, a former technology and news media executive and an Obama classmate at Harvard Law who raised more than $500,000 for the campaign, and Federico Peña, a two-time Cabinet secretary in the Clinton administration who is a managing partner in a global investment firm. He collected more than $50,000.
Campaign watchdog experts, such as Craig Holman of Public Citizen, say the close involvement of these big fundraisers—known as bundlers because they collect money from friends, family and business associates—could give them undue sway in the new administration. "The whole point of these bundlers bringing in so much money is that they get to exercise influence in the next administration," Holman said. Obama's pledge to clean up Washington "is encouraging," Holman said. "But this is a warning sign." Obama spokesman Dan Pfeiffer said transition members "were chosen based on their skills, ability, and expertise."
Yeah, right. And I'm the queen of England at the height of the Victorian Empire.
Will President-elect Obama bring change? You betcha—a change back to the "tax-and-spend" liberalism that brought Ronald Reagan into office on a tidal wave of anti-Democratic anger, just as George Bush's fiscal and military incompetence swept Obama into office. Is this "Change We Need"? No, it's just more of the same old American pendulum swing of politics.
- Click here to read more by Bonnie Erbe.
- Click here to read more about Barack Obama.
- Click here to read more about Barack Obama's transition.