Friday, November 7, 2008

Barack the conservative

Barack Obama is going to surprise a lot of people by being more conservative than expected. And by “conservative” I mean both in the sense of cautious as well as ideologically. As David Brook’s quoted Andrew Kohut of the Pew Research Center in his column this morning, “This was an election where the middle asserted itself. There was “no sign” of a “movement to the left.” Brook’s expect Obama to govern that way and makes a persuasive case.

The Rahm Emanuel pick is a good first sign. I remembered and reread a Fortune article from September 2006 in which Democratic strategist Paul Begala, who described Emanuel's aggressive style as a "cross between a hemorrhoid and a toothache." But the point of the article was more that Emanuel is both smart and pragmatic and he knows how things work at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.

A funny quote is attributed to Bill Clinton just after the ’92 election, in which after being asked how he felt, he was reported to have said, “like a dog that finally caught the pickup truck he’d been chasing.” That may have contributed to his waiting until just a week or so before taking office to pick his WH staff, which turned out to be the wrong people. Obama did this first and picked pros.

Did you know Obama is considered to be a pretty good poker player? If you did it was despite his campaign staff’s strenuous efforts to keep it under wraps until after the election. It’s not a bad skill for a President to have.

How much interest is there in the election? By noon on Wednesday you couldn’t find a copy of the New York Times anywhere for love nor money. Copies are for sale on eBay starting at $40 and going up from there. Time magazine is out today. They normally put out office copies for employees first thing in the morning, but there were none today and they have gone back to press to print an additional 200,000 copies. I think a lot of people are starting their own family time capsules.

Here’s a quote I heard the other day, apropos of nothing special: “Experience is the name that everyone gives to their mistakes.” Oscar Wilde.

21 comments:

hankster said...

To my novice eyes, Obama is maintaining his control, being the consummate thinking man. He does his homework, not playing chess one move at a time. Although it has to burn him up inside with Bush and Cheney working overtime to triple tie knots which he will have to untie after January, he refuses to engage them and engage in battles he cannot win.

Say what you will about his lack of legislation in the senate, he appears not to have Clinton's baggage nor GW Bush's laziness. He does appear to have a first order mind: he is going to need it.

Birdman said...

I know a guy who has worked very closely with Rahm Emmanuel over the past two election cycles and says that he is, without a doubt, the smartest, most relentless and ruthless political operator he's ever seen. He's a good choice. He gets to be bad cop to Obama's good cop.

I thought Obama did well in his first news conference. Although I saw no reason to apologize to Nancy Reagan.

As a Son of Confederate Veterans the depiction of Sherman on your blog is a bit offputting. My great grandfather never had to face him (he was with Lee) but it's upsetting nonetheless. Try to be a bit more sensitive. I'm sure Fenway and Kgwhit will agree.

Fistinyoface said...

"Ruthless, relentless political operator?"

Perfect descriptors for a feral little prick. Another womb-to-tomb politico whose sole stint in the private sector was launched by his government connections.

It's goddamn surreal, watching Hussein populate his Cheka.

I can't decide whether "Rham" (Hussien? Rham? Er, what country are we in again?) more closely resembles Beria or Dzerzhinsky.

Welcome to Amerika.

If this incessant tossing of Obama's salad doesn't cease, I'll report this site to the authorities as porn.

Gaga said...

I agree with Bird that the picture of Sherman is abit insensitive. The fact that he's facing to the right brings up too many bad memories of political suppression. Even though my great,great,great uncle,who didnt give a rats ass about the Northern Invasion,used to say,"left or right ,its still the same", it still hurts. Please remove the photo.

hankster said...

Birdman & Gaga: what's all this nonsense about a photo of Mr Peabody's boy past his prime? I see a similar visage when I look into the mirror first thing in the morning.

The real story is happening in Alaska. It seems results, voting history and polling don't jibe. The Dems might just have lost 2 potential senate seats to the hack-ability of Diebold voting machines and/or the hand of man:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shannyn-moore/stolen-election-in-alaska_b_141704.html

kgwhit said...

My great grandmother told me that her mother shot the finger off a Yankee who was foraging behind her house after the battle of Chickamuaga. If my great grandmother had met ole Willie T. Sherman, she would have aimed for the testicles not the hand like her mother. She was an ornery old woman but she taught me to play poker when she was in her 80s. She may have been a gracious southern lady but I caught her cheating while we played.

Anonymous said...

have fun.

Woody said...

I am going to invite President Obama to our poker game at the next Myrtle Beach golf trip. When I look around our poker table I do not see future world leaders but it is reassuring to know that it is a highly regarded skill in political circles. I was concerned when Obama chose Emanuel because he does not seem like the bipartisan type. Remember, he is the guy who told England's PM Tony Blair "not to f**k up" when Blair was meeting with Clinton after the Monica Lewinsky affair. Hopefully his role will be to protect Obama's agenda from Pelosi and Reid. By the way, during his 3 year stint in the private sector Emanuel pocketed a cool 16 million dollars.

warrenout said...

Barack the conservative? The only current program he agrees with is the African AIDS campaign.I'm glad the communists and radical muslims congradulated him.thats nice.I'm sure with his and Biden extensive foreign policy world be will be at hand.I'm pleased he apoligized to Nancy Reagan. He wants to have the extemporanius wit of JFK, It ain't gonna happen And something to be learned from "D" on history. General Sherman was ruthless,evil win at all cost. Something our current generals need schooled in. Much like Sherman, Obama will govern from the left and his march to immortality will invoke much more than scortched earth. Please; historic election night, photos?? no champaign? Please .Let the Spinning begin.

fenway said...

Surely by now you've all seen the youtube of Barack's 06 roast of his new chief of staff: "you may know Rahm had a serious accident many years ago and lost part of his middle finger and it affected his voice". His job will be to keep the dems in line. Barrack will govern from the middle. Interesting story on front of Sunday's Style section "The O Generation". Does anyone care that the exact celebration of my 65th coincides with The Idiot's last day in office and the Inauguration of BHO? db, our friend Octavia may join our discussion group shortly.

d'blank said...

Fenway - I shall drink a toast to you and W. on the 20th.

FIYF -- forgive us our temporary delusions that we may be entering a new and more just era. We should all be old enough to know better, but there are so few opportunities to feel good about the world I feel obliged to do so however fleeting the moment may be.

To all you playa-haytas, General Sherman, the man we quote when we declare that “war is hell,” fought hard in order to end the war as quickly as possible, and in victory was considered to be both gracious and generous. He was especially benevolent to liberated slaves. He is a man to be admired.

fenway said...

especially in Atlanta . . .

Octavia said...

Glad to join this opinioned family. Heard a rumor which I would love to confirm--that he's such an excellent basketball player that on the day after the election he worked out playing hoops with Chris Duhon, Knicks new point guard, and beat him. Remember when he made the 3-point shot in front of the soldiers in Iraq? A man of many talents.

d'blank said...

yes, he also beat Tiger Woods at golf and Lance Armstrong in a bike race. Amazing!

Woody said...

Obama has many talents but Chris Duhon would beat Obama 15-1 in a game of one on one. In a full court game, it would even be worse for Obama. Maybe they played a game of HORSE and Duhon played blindfolded. I saw Obama play Stuart Scott of ESPN (UNC grad). Obama enjoys the game, let's leave it at that.

kgwhit said...

A caption under a picture of Obama on his state champion basketball team stated he was a backup on the team.

If you are a backup on a high school team in Hawaii, you are only besting Duhon in your dreams. Sounds like Kim Jung Il's reported golf score.

birdman said...

We're not playa haters. We're just sore losers. Sherman was the general that issues the order giving former slaves 40 acres and a mule. Follow-up wasn't so good but it was a good idea nonetheless.

I don't want to disparage Obama's hoops skills but I don't think the guys in Iraq were covering him all that closely. Props for making the shot though.

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