Blogs > HNN > December 1, 2008: The Obama Transition, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, First Ladies, and the Bush Legacy

Dec 1, 2008 3:22 am


December 1, 2008: The Obama Transition, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, First Ladies, and the Bush Legacy



POLITICS & PRESIDENTIAL TRANSITION WATCH:

STATS

Stats:

  • A timeline of the Obama campaign - Newsday
  • Get to know the Obamas: Bios of Barack, Michelle, Malia and Sasha - Newsday
THE HEADLINES....

The Headlines...

    President-Elect Barack Obama Transition office: http://change.gov/

  • Consensus emerging on universal healthcare The prospect of bold government action appears to be accepted among key players across the ideological and political spectrum, including those who staunchly opposed the idea in the 1990s. - LA Times, 12-1-08
  • Hillary Clinton's test at State: How she'll work with Obama - USA Today, 11-30-08
  • Jonah Goldberg: The Obama School Scandal? National Review Online: Public Schools Are Unacceptable To Pretty Much Anyone, Liberal Or Conservative - NRO, CBS News, 11-30-08
  • Obama turns to friends, foes for White House posts - AP, 11-30-08
  • Obama's small-donor 'myth' The campaign's base was dominated by those who gave less than $200, the political standard for small donors. But a new study asks, are you still a small donor if you do that five times? - La Times, 11-30-08
  • Officials: Obama set to introduce Clinton Monday: A deal with Bill Clinton over his post-White House work helped clear the way for Hillary Rodham Clinton to join President-elect Barack Obama's national security team as secretary of state, reshaping a once-bitter rivalry into a high-profile strategic and diplomatic union. Obama was to be joined by the New York senator at a Chicago news conference Monday, Democratic officials said, where he also planned to announce that Defense Secretary Robert Gates would remain in his job for a year or more and that retired Marine General James L. Jones would serve as national security adviser. - AP, 11-30-08
  • Obama's strong-willed national security team: With Clinton as secretary of State, retired Marine Gen. James Jones Jr. as national security advisor and Gates remaining in Defense, Obama will have a choice among often starkly differing views. - LA Times, 11-30-08
  • Liberals Angry Over Obama Keeping Gates as Pentagon Chief President-elect Obama's expected selection of Robert Gates as his defense secretary and retired Gen. Jim Jones as his national security adviser is raising eyebrows among liberals. - Fox News, 11-29-08
  • Bill Clinton agrees to release donor's names - Reuters, 11-30-08
  • Inauguration turning into D.C. windfall Frenzy to find accommodations sparks complaints of price-gouging - Houston Chronicle, NYT, 11-29-08
  • Bush Offers Support To India After Attacks Terror Ends With At Least 195 Dead; Tensions High Between India And Pakistan - CBS News, 11-29-08
  • Obama's Supporters Spoke With Wallets - The Tampa Tribune, 11-30-08
  • on the Bush legacy: The most damaging president since Herbert Hoover - National Post, 11-29-08
  • Bush legacy remains to be written - National Post, 11-21-08
  • Remembered Unkindly Some say Bush will displace Buchanan as worst president - National Post, 11-21-08
  • Meet Obama's financial SWAT team Three star advisers have formidable reputations and loads of experience. Now all they have to do is get the derailed U.S. economic engine back on trackAll three star nominees: Timothy Geithner, head of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, as the new treasury secretary, and prominent academic economists Lawrence Summers and Christina Romer as top advisers - looked decidedly glum as they were introduced by a beaming Mr. Obama. - Globe & Mail, 11-29-08
  • National Security Pick: From a Marine to a Mediator: James L. Jones, a retired four-star general, was among a mostly Republican crowd watching a presidential debate in October when Barack Obama casually mentioned that he got a lot of his advice on foreign policy from General Jones. - - NYT, 11-29-08
  • Obama to Name Defense Secretary on Monday President-elect Barack Obama is expected to announce Monday who will be his secretary of defense. - Fox News, 11-28-08
  • Barack Obama set to roll out national security team; Hillary could be first: President-elect Barack Obama plans to roll out his national security team next week and could officially name Hillary Clinton secretary of state as early as Monday, Democratic sources said. - Ny Daily News, 11-28-08
  • Hillary Clinton as diplomat Obama's bold choice for his secretary of State shows the two can be partners on the world stage. - LAT, 11-28-08
  • Obama Picks May Leave Big Holes As Elected Officials Migrate, Democratic Seats Are Vulnerable - WaPo, 11-28-08
  • Malia Obama Calls Dibs on Lincoln's Desk Obama Talks to Barbara Walters About Homework, History and Happy Family - ABC News, 11-26-08
  • Work-life balance: Obama wants BlackBerry, kids who do chores - Boston Globe, 11-27-08
  • Obama's Speechwriter Moves to the White House: In his latest round of White House staff announcements, Mr. Obama said Wednesday that he was naming Jon Favreau as his director of speechwriting. Mr. Favreau, 27, has had a hand in practically every speech that the president-elect has delivered over the last four years, following Mr. Obama from his Senate office to the presidential campaign. - NYT, 11-26-08
  • Bush twins show Obama girls fun White House tricks - AP, 11-26-08
  • McCain Plans to Run Again (for the Senate) - NYT, 11-25-08
  • Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware will be replaced in the United States Senate by his longtime aide, Edward Kaufman, when Mr. Biden resigns the seat to become vice president. - NYT, 11-24-08
POLITICAL QUOTES

Political Quotes

  • First Lady Laura Bush describes post-White House plans: I'll miss being with the military, too, and that's one of the things about Camp David that we liked so much, and that's going to church at Camp David with the people who are posted there. I'll miss all the people that are around us all the time. From the ushers and the butlers who are there for every president and have been there four or five administrations, to our own staff, of course, that we love to laugh with and talk with and solve problems with. And so I'll miss the people the most....
    She also said her husband"is going to build a freedom institute with his presidential library and museum at SMU [Southern Methodist University] in Dallas, and that'll be a really good vehicle, I think, for me to continue to work with, especially, women and children in Afghanistan."...
    "The main point I wanted to say to her is that this is -- the White House is a home, and it can be a very happy home for her and for her children and her husband, and it certainly has been for us." - CNN, 11-30-08
  • President Bush Weighs In on His Legacy: "I came to Washington with a set of values, and I'm leaving with the same set of values. And I darn sure wasn’t going to sacrifice those values; that I was a President that had to make tough choices and was willing to make them. I surrounded myself with good people. I carefully considered the advice of smart, capable people and made tough decisions."...
    But he said he wanted to be known"as somebody who liberated 50 million people and helped achieve peace; that focused on individuals rather than process; that rallied people to serve their neighbor; that led an effort to help relieve HIV/AIDS and malaria on places like the continent of Africa; that helped elderly people get prescription drugs and Medicare as a part of the basic package; that came to Washington, D.C., with a set of political statements and worked as hard as I possibly could to do what I told the American people I would do."...."I've been in the Bible every day since I've been the President, and I have been affected by people's prayers a lot. I have found that faith is comforting, faith is strengthening, faith has been important...."And the greatness of America — it really is — is that you can worship or not worship and be equally American. And it doesn’t matter how you choose to worship; you're equally American. And it's very important for any President to jealously protect, guard, and strengthen that freedom." - NYT, 11-28-08
  • Barack Obama: Your Weekly Address from the President-Elect: In a preview of his weekly address, President-elect Barack Obama addressed the nation on the occasion of Thanksgiving, nearly one hundred and fifty years after President Lincoln called for the last Thursday in November to be set aside to acknowledge our blessings. You Tube, 11-26-08
  • Swing voters give Obama flexibility to solve US economic crisis: Even President-elect Barack Obama’s least enthusiastic supporters seem willing to cut him slack in solving the nation's problems.That is one conclusion of a focus group conducted Nov. 22 by pollster Peter Hart among Virginia voters who might not have been expected to vote for Obama. Eight of the 12 voted for George Bush in 2004, nine considered backing John McCain. The focus group session, conducted for the Annenberg Public Policy Center, will air Nov. 28 at 8 p.m. on C-SPAN. - Christian Science Monitor, 11-28-08
  • President-elect Obama announces two more leaders of economic team: At a press conference in Chicago today, President-elect Barack Obama announced additional members of his economic team -- nominating Peter Orszag as Director and Rob Nabors as Deputy Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget. - You Tube, 11-25-08
  • President-elect Obama announces economic team: At a press conference in Chicago today, President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden officially announced key members of their economic team, naming Timothy Geithner as Secretary of the Treasury and Lawrence Summers as Director of the National Economic Council. - You Tube, 11-24-08
  • A Barbara Walters Special: Barack and Michelle Obama Watch the Full Special With Barbara Walters and the President-Elect on ABC.com - ABC News, 11-27-08
  • Video: Barack and Michelle Obama on 'Barbara Walters Special' - Ace Showbiz, 11-27-08
  • Sen. Joe Lieberman: Obama 'about perfect' in Cabinet picks: "Everything that President-elect Obama has done since election night has been just about perfect, both in terms of a tone and also in terms of the strength of the names that have either been announced or are being discussed to fill his administration....
    I will ask them to judge me by my record. Generally speaking, I've had a record, a voting record, which is really ultimately what it's about, not unlike most Democrats....
    It appears to me that the war in Iraq is coming to a successful — I don't want to say conclusion yet, but it's moving in a way that it will not be a divisive issue either in the Democratic Party or between Democrats and Republicans in the time ahead. And therefore, I think we'll return to more normal times, which I welcome. - AP, 11-26-08
  • Obama reassures nervous nation on ailing economy:"Help is on the way...There is no doubt that during tough economic times family budgets are going to be pinched. I think it is important for the American people, though, to have confidence that we've gone through recessions before, we've gone through difficult times before, that my administration intends to get this economy back on track....
    "People should understand that help is on the way. And as they think about this Thanksgiving shopping weekend, and as they think about the Christmas season that is coming up, I hope that everybody understands that we are going to be able to get through these difficult times, We're just going to have to make some good choices....
    The American people would be troubled if I selected a treasury secretary or a chairman of the National Economic Council at one of the most critical economic times in our history who had no experience in government whatsoever. What we are going to do is combine experience with fresh thinking. But understand where the vision for change comes from. First and foremost, it comes from me. That's my job.
    What I don't want to do is to somehow suggest that because you served in the last Democratic administration, that you're somehow barred from serving again. Because we need people who are going to be able to hit the ground running - AP, 11-26-08
  • Barack Obama:"Work-life balance: Obama wants BlackBerry, kids who do chores": -"One of the things that I'm going to have to work through is how to break through the isolation, the bubble, that exists around the president. I'm negotiating to figure out how can I get information from outside of the 10 or 12 people who surround my office in the White House. I want to make sure that I keep my finger on the pulse of the struggles that people are going through every day."...
    "A lot of it just has to do with making sure that they understand that they're special to us, because we're their parents, but they're not special in terms of having to do their homework or having to do chores." -- - Boston Globe, 11-27-08
  • Michelle Obama:"Work-life balance: Obama wants BlackBerry, kids who do chores": -"We're going to have to set up some boundaries because they're going to need to be able to make their beds and clean up.". -- - Boston Globe, 11-27-08
  • Obama on Auto Execs' Private Jets: 'A Little Tone Deaf' Excerpts from Barbara Walters' Exclusive Interview: President-Elect Reveals He Is Negotiating to Keep His Blackberry - ABC News, 11-27-08
  • Obama and the Budget: "This isn’t about big government or small government; it's about building a smarter government that focuses on what works.".... Mr. Obama gave an example of the kind of cuts he intends to make (look out, subsidized farmers, here may come the ax): “There’s a report today that from 2003 to 2006, millionaire farmers received $49 million in crop subsidies even though they were earning more than the $2.5 million cutoff for such subsidies,” he said. “If this is true, it is a prime example of the kind of waste I intend to end as President.”"We had a decisive win. I don't think that there's any question that we have a mandate to move the country in a new direction and not continue the same old practices that have gotten us into the fix we’re in."..."Friendship doesn't come into this. That's part of the old way of doing business." He says he wants to undertake projects that will"give the American economy the most bang for the buck."... - NYT, 11-25-08
  • Obama urges Congress to pass costly stimulus bill: "If we do not act swiftly and boldly, most experts now believe that we could lose millions of jobs next year."...."The economy is likely to get worse before it gets better. Full recovery will not happen immediately. I know we can work our way out of this crisis because we have done it before." - AP, 11-24-08
HISTORIANS' COMMENTS

Historians' Comments

  • Barack Obama's Victory Historic and Much More - St. Louis, Jewish Light, 11-28-08
  • George Herring:"Will Obama and Clinton work as a team? They’ve had differences, but Obama is expected to name her as secretary of State.": "I do think the differences between them on some of these foreign-policy issues were magnified by the heat of campaign rhetoric," says George Herring, a historian and professor emeritus at the University of Kentucky."I don't buy into the whole idea that Obama is, more than anything else, viewing Clinton as a rival."...."Nixon and Kissinger had a close but very weird relationship, suspicious of each other and each demeaning the other when he wasn’t around. But they respected each other’s views and capabilities, and they worked together," he says. - Christian Science Monitor, 11-30-08
  • Paul C. Light:"For Obama, a chance to push big changes":"Everything that he talked about during the campaign that can be seen as stimulus is going to be in that package," predicted Paul C. Light, a professor at New York University's graduate school of public service."It will be one of the heaviest pieces of legislation passed by Congress in the last 20 years, and I mean heavy in terms of actual weight and page numbers." - Boston Globe, 11-30-08
  • Paul Light"Liberals to keep pressure on Obama for results": "I think he's moving center-left, rather than left-center. It's fair to call him pragmatic," said Paul Light, a public policy professor and presidential historian at New York University."I think labor is going to get a lot from him. I think his liberal supporters are going to get a lot from him. But they're going to be disappointed if they want all liberal all the time." - AP, 11-30-08
  • Carl Anthony"FIRST LADIES Very Little in Common But That 'O'": "There seems to be this moving train that simply insists that Mrs. Obama is the new Mrs. Kennedy," says Carl Anthony, historian for the National First Ladies' Library, who has been fielding calls from reporters eager to connect the dots. But Anthony thinks they're worlds apart. - Newsweek, 11-30-08
  • Michael Beschloss:"Historian: Obama's message also liability lower expectations": Hope is the greatest asset and greatest liability for Barack Obama, said Michael Beschloss, author and scholar on presidential history."He knows how damaging it could be to a new president (for voters) to expect a Superman, especially at a time when the problems are so great that everyone is looking for miracles," Mr. Beschloss said...."many people had doubts about, I would say, down to the evening of Nov. 3," he said, adding some predicted a last-minute swelling of racial prejudice to bare itself at the polls."That did not happen.""If al-Qaida is saying that America has been captured by a white reactionary clique ... Barack Obama does not look that way, and I think they’re going to have a much harder time recruiting," Mr. Beschloss said. - The Times Tribune, 11-14-08
  • Betty Caroli:"Defining the job has challenged first ladies": Many a first lady has said, in retrospect, that she had no idea how hard being first lady would be. Even the current one, Laura Bush, according to author and first lady historian Betty Caroli. Of all the first ladies, she should have known what was in store: Her mother-in-law, Barbara, was first lady from 1989-1993."So no matter I suppose how well prepared ... she's probably going to be surprised by the enormity of the publicity, the focus, the demands and so forth," Caroli said of Michelle Obama. - AP, 11-28-08
  • Robert P. Watson:"Defining the job has challenged first ladies": Still, the job description is ill-defined, said Robert P. Watson, who has written two books about first ladies and directs the American studies program at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla."The first lady has to find her own way and match that with her husband's interests," Watson said. - AP, 11-28-08
  • Gerald Gawalt:"Scenes from Obamas' love story Their affection stands out among presidential pairs": Historians say Ronald and Nancy Reagan were perhaps the most adoring first couple. Like the Obamas, they appeared to genuinely enjoy being together. They often exchanged love notes and cards, including one in which the president declared his wife"my valentine forever.""They seemed to be one of these couples that were head over heels in love with each other, even as they got older," said Gerald Gawalt, a Library of Congress historian. - Chicago Tribune, 11-30-08
  • Michael Beschloss"Barack and Michelle: A more perfect union? First Couple-to-be could be relationship role models for nation, experts say": In general, the relationship between the American president and his wife has always been an important one, and does have an impact on the public, said NBC News presidential historian Michael Beschloss."We know that a person's partner [choice] is one of the biggest clues to what that person is all about," he said. Beschloss said that in the past, how a political figure interacted with his or her spouse didn't matter as much, and as with the Kennedys, the media often looked the other way when it came to philandering."Presidents are so intensely covered, we know so much about their personal lives that it’s inevitable that the public is going to know a lot about, and make judgments on, what happens between political wives and husbands," he said."John and Jackie Kennedy almost never held hands or showed affection in public — nowadays, people would think something was wrong." - MSNBC, 11-29-08
  • Gil Troy"Barack and Michelle: A more perfect union? First Couple-to-be could be relationship role models for nation, experts say": The Obamas have the best of both worlds, said Gil Troy, professor of history at McGill University and author of"Mr. and Mrs. President: From the Trumans to the Clintons.""The Obama marriage is a modern partnership between equals; they are a working couple just like the Clintons," he said."But, unlike the Clintons — and more like the Bushes — the Obamas appear to be a solid couple, devoted to each other, with no fidelity questions hovering overhead." - MSNBC, 11-29-08
  • Liza Mundy"Barack and Michelle: A more perfect union? First Couple-to-be could be relationship role models for nation, experts say": "Their friends have observed that they have a very positive relationship," said Liza Mundy, author of"Michelle: A Biography.""One of Barack's friends pointed out how effusive he is in his praise of Michelle — he knows how much his career has demanded of her, and he’s very appreciative of that." - - MSNBC, 11-29-08
  • Stephen J. Wayne"Obama has a hand on the helm weeks before taking oath of office": -"It's a consequence of the state of the economy and the invisibility of President Bush," said Georgetown University's presidential historian, Stephen J. Wayne."I don't think Obama expected it." Kasas City Star, 11-29-08
  • OAH Newsletter features"The Obama Phenomenon": A Forum - OAH Newsletter, 11-1-08
  • David Bercuson"Bush legacy remains to be written:" "Kennedy's got a great legacy. But what did he ever do? He got killed before he did anything," suggests David Bercuson, a University of Calgary historian. After Kennedy dragged his heels on civil rights, it was Lyndon Johnson who finally advanced the cause. But"all poor old Johnson gets credit for is the Vietnam War," which Kennedy set in motion, Prof. Bercuson argues....
    "He [Bush] will wear this recession, rightly or wrongly, the same way [Herbert] Hoover wore the Depression and the great crash," says Prof. Bercuson. National Post, 11-29-08
  • Bush legacy remains to be written - Mr. Bush's legacy in the academy is not off to a propitious start: Princeton University's Sean Wilentz, one of the country's leading historians, speculated a couple years ago that Mr. Bush could be the"worst president in all of American history." In an unscientific poll earlier this year of 109 historians by the History News Network, 98.2% rated the Bush presidency a failure; 61% called it the worst ever. National Post, 11-29-08
  • Allen C. Guelzo: The Bush legacy: The five best things he ever did: The war in Iraq, 'Axis of Evil' speech, Faith-based initiatives, Blunting the metastasis of abortion, Balancing the bench - National Post, 11-21-08
  • Robert S. McElvaine"The Bush legacy: The five worst things he did": Fight against terror, 'Pre-emptive war', Economic policies, Trashed the constitution, 'Gulf coast war' - - National Post, 11-21-08




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