Obama Cabinet Picks – Pragmatic, not Puzzling

obama chooses cabinetEditorial By Paul Hughes

WASHINGTON (RushPRnews)11/29/08– Despite some familiar faces, nothing about president-elect Barack Obama’s picks for cabinet posts screams status quoi.While Obama’s choice s for top cabinet positions – leading off with Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) as chief of staff and Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) for secretary of state – might hearken back to another democratic president (Hillary’s husband Bill), his picks appear more pragmatic than puzzling.

No president is ever successful without having smart, politically able minds at his side. This was as true for Franklin D. Roosevelt as it was for Ronald Reagan.

Clinton has proved to be a savvy politician in her own right, a lawyer-turned-first lady-turned charismatic senator whose run for the democratic nomination for president (against Obama) seemed successful until it became doomed as her rival gained increasing support in the primaries.

Whatever awkwardness that might have created as Clinton publicly questioned Obama’s readiness for the presidency seemed to be settled as Clinton campaigned tirelessly for her former rival in the months leading up to the Nov. 4 general election.

Her celebrity, knowledge of foreign affairs and champion of diplomacy as a means to end Middle East strife should serve her well in Obama’s cabinet.

Emanuel was a trusted aide to former president Bill Clinton, an advisor who became known as a go-to person who knew how to get things done. His increasing television appearances on behalf of the 42nd president helped him when he ran for the House of Representatives from Illinois’ 5th Congressional District in 2003.

That his brother, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, is a Harvard-educated physician who earlier this year published a book entitled, “Healthcare, Guaranteed: A Simple, Secure Solution for America,” about providing universal health care may serve Obama well as he pursues healthcare reform during his presidency.

Healthcare reform may end up being a low priority for Obama, though, as he must grapple with the greatest economic downturn since the 1930s. High unemployment, failures among the big three auto makers and the nation’s largest banks are certainly more pressing issues with which Obama must deal.

This is where Obama’s team of economic advisors steps in. Timothy F. Geithner, New York Federal Reserve head and Obama’s choice for Treasury secretary, along with former treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Sumners, who is Obama’s choice for director of the National Economic Council, will work with the president-elect on ways to stabilize the economy and to assure the
nation of a better tomorrow.

If for all of Obama’s intelligence, he lacks knowledge of economic issues, surely a team of experienced strategists such as these two will do well by the president elect – and the country. To be sure, Obama’s challenges during the first days and months of his presidency will be daunting. And while he has shown no signs that he will rule with an iron fist, he has so far indicated that he will have capable and well experienced advisors by his side.

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