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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Democratic Chatter 11-23-2008

George Wenschhof

Obama-Biden Transition Team officially announces Press Secretary - Robert Gibbs, who we earlier reported, was named the White House Press Secretary. Also announced was Ellen Moran as Director of Communications - she currently is the executive director of Emily's List and was a supporter of Senator Hillary Clinton during the Democratic primary. Dan Pfeiffer was announced as Deputy Director of Communications. has more here.


Democrats continue to weigh the pros and cons of Hillary Clinton in the Obama Cabinet - Unless, something monumental occurs within the next few days, it is expected Senator Clinton will be named Secretary of State shortly after Thanksgiving. President-elect Barack Obama, who admits to reading about President Lincoln lately, continues to make moves intended to unite, rather than divide. The NY Times has more here.

Nonetheless, some still wonder if a Clinton appointment is such a good idea. She criticized Obama for his lack of experience and his positions on foreign policy during the Democratic primary. For Hillary Clinton, it is a matter of staying in the spotlight. When Senator Ted Kennedy returned to Washington recently, he immediately moved to take control of Health Care legislation. This along with Harry Reid staying as Senate Majority Leader, leaves Ms. Clinton with no other options other than a cabinet position. For that matter. some would argue the Secretary of State position is much more powerful and influential than the Vice-President. For those who longed for the Democratic Party to move on without a polarizing Clinton, it appears they are going to have to wait a term or two.


Lawrence Summers expected to be named tomorrow as White House Economic Adviser - He was in contention for Treasury Secretary which Tim Geithner is expected to be announced tomorrow for that spot in the Cabinet. As part of the Obama Economic Team roll out tomorrow, Governor Bill Richardson (NM) will be named Commerce Secretary. has more here.


President-elect Obama speaks to Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai yesterday and promises more aid to fight terrorism - while attention during the Bush administration shifted to Iraq, the Taliban and Al Qaeda have been regrouping in Afghanistan. The Wall Street Journal has more here.

I have often wondered why the U.S. has not provided more economic aid to this country. Poppy continues to be the number one crop. The criminal element behind this number one export of the country succeeds in part by paying starving farmers to grow this crop. How about a program to subsidize these farmers to grow domestic crops?


Former Vice-President Al Gore in Georgia tonight - he is to appear at a fundraiser in support of Jim Martin, the Democrat facing Saxby Chambliss in a election run-off. Former President Bill Clinton was in Atlanta earlier in the week supporting Martin. You can read more here.


Maryland Lt. Governor Anthony Brown rumored pick for Secretary of Veteran Affairs - He is also a colonel in the Army Reserve who served a tour of duty in Iraq. You can read more here. The others rumored to be in the running for the position are former Georgia Senator Max Cleland and Tammy Duckworth, a disabled Iraq war veteran.

Another member of Maryland's Governor Martin O'Malley administration reported to be receiving serious consideration for a position in the Obama administration is Tom Perez. Mr. Perez is currently the secretary for Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

I know both of these men and they would be a big plus for the Obama administration. If this would take place, Governor O'Malley will be looking for replacements.


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