November 21, 2008

Obama's leaky transition.

WaPo observes that the transition isn't working the way the "no drama Obama" campaign did.

Hmmm.... remember all the arguments about how Obama's "executive experience" as the head of a political campaign provided a basis for judging his capacity to serve as President? Now, we're seeing his performance as the head of the transition, and it looks quite different.

40 comments:

MayBee said...

Everyone on Obama's campaign had one goal in mind- to get him elected. Now he's working with people who also have their own self-interests at heart.
I'm also not sure we saw the real Obama with the "no drama" campaign. He's played pretty cutthroat politics before (divorce records unsealed, mentor thrown off the ballot), and has happily used anybody he can (Rezko). That's dramatic!

Hoosier Daddy said...

Not sure this means anything. I think a good point was made in the article that when you're looking at individuals for a post and even start an informal vetting process, someone is bound to talk. You simply can't keep a secret in Washington DC.

Big Mike said...

Is he not what you thought he'd be? It's one thing to campaign for an office, but now he's having to deal with masters of a game that he has essentially no experience playing.

Marcia said...

Are we really sure that Obama ran his campaign?

PatCA said...

The tiptoeing around Obama continues: Pritzer has "vast and complex" business dealings that would prevent her from doing a good job. No mention that her bank was a leader in subprime mortgage securitizing.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

Are we really sure that Obama ran his campaign?

My guess is we really elected David Axelrod President; Obama is an empty suit figurehead.

Who in their right mind would have voted for Axelrod?

Michael said...

Yeah, Ann, and the "he's never had a real job but he's running a tight campagin" was a particularly strange argument.

The Exalted said...

what's gone wrong with the transition, again?

do you fall for 100% of press-created memes, or just most of them?

Montagne Mointaigne said...

It's quickly devolving to the normal position of public opinion toward presidential politics (but maybe it's happening faster): for his supporters he can do no wrong, and for his detractors, everything that happens, no matter how trivial, is proof of his wild incompetence or evil.

As for Ann, I think she's just goosing her own Obamaphilia with a little contrarianism.

Bissage said...

The first rule of stage acting is to make a big entrance.

Rich Beckman said...

Although the "tightness" of the campaign was impressive, when I consider his experience at running the campaign I tend to dwell on its outcome.

I'm sure the lack of leaks contributed to the success of the campaign, but that was such a small part.

Anyone who had thought the absence of leaks would continue through his presidency displayed naivete.

Chris said...

I had assumed that all these leaks were authorized--isn't the idea to float trial balloons, to see which nominees will be controversial?

Roger J. said...

I think Chris has it exactly right--these are purposeful leaks for trial balloon purposes (as well as potential positions on policy such as DOMA, DADT, etc).

Doyle said...

Obama had control over the campaign. He doesn't have control over everyone in Congress and elsewhere who's getting vetted.

Do you really expect him to be able to keep everything a secret by the sheer force of his competence and personality? Grow up.

Doyle said...

Also, the intentional leak/trial balloons point.

kynefski said...

To me, this looks less like a story than a story, so many column inches about something that sounds like it might be interesting.

AJ Lynch said...

Janet Napolitano does not inspire confidence in me as a good choice for Homeland Security.

In fact, neither did Tom Ridge or the current guy.

I'd like to see an ex-general in this role.

Freeman Hunt said...

Hmmm.... remember all the arguments about how Obama's "executive experience" as the head of a political campaign provided a basis for judging his capacity to serve as President?

That was silly though. There are these guys called "campaign managers," and they are not the candidates themselves.

Freeman Hunt said...

But I don't blame Obama for the leaks. Government people seem to be a bunch of self-important drama queens. They leak like sieves.

Rob said...

This is probably more a reflection on the media than on Obama. During the campaign most media outlets were (deliberately) incurious about anything that wasn't officially released by the campaign. Now the news hounds are all out sniffing around for anything and everything they can about the transition and unsurprisingly they're actually finding things.

If anything, this should just be even further evidence about how Obama's image was reinforced by the media during the campaign.

bearbee said...

Geithner to Be Nominated as Treasury Secretary"

Friday November 21, 3:17 pm ET

President-elect Barack Obama plans to announce his economic team on Monday as part of an effort to reassure markets and will name New York Fed President Tim Geithner his nominee for Treasury Secretary, NBC News has learned.
Geithner was a U.S. Treasury Department official under both Bob Rubin and Larry Summers and has been with Treasury since 1988.

Geithner has helped current Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and his team manage the ongoing Wall Street bailout.

blake said...

The leaks aren't Obama's fault.

Unless they're a canny political maneuver.

Methadras said...

So who does Mr. Barely hold accountable for these leaks. I would imagine I should be seeing some heads rolling by now due to these 'leaks'. Oh look, nothing is happening. Shocker.

Michael said...

A "transition" is nothing like a "campaign."

Many of those who were part of the campaign are no longer employed or under any obligation to keep things to themselves, morally or otherwise.

Leaks come from sources that are pro and con, so who knows what the rationale would be behind what we're hearing.

Regardless, it has little if anything to how Obama will handle his responsibilities and I find the notion that it somehow would just another right wing stab in the dark.

Michael said...

Methadras said..."...I should be seeing some heads rolling by now due to these 'leaks'. Oh look, nothing is happening. Shocker."

Based on what we've seen from Bush & Company that has to be one of the funniest, ironic and inane comments to appear lately.

You must be referring to Bush's statement that anybody who does anything "illegal" will be fired.

Sure...

Seven Machos said...

Yeah, this isn't leaking. It's not like the president wants to spring the cabinet nominees on an unsuspecting Senate.

I also think it's interesting that nobody is calling David Axelrod an evil jean-yus who will actually run the presidency. Funny, because that's what Karl Rove and Lee Atwater did. I wonder why this meme hasn't started. It's almost like the stuff about Rove and Atwater is blatant agit-prop.

But, yeah, Republicans are imbeciles.

Catharine said...

They leak like sieves.

They make noise like running toilets.

Revenant said...

Hmmm.... remember all the arguments about how Obama's "executive experience" as the head of a political campaign provided a basis for judging his capacity to serve as President?

Well, yeah. But even his most hysterical supporters seemed a little hesitant to defend THAT argument. Did anyone really believe it?

Hucbald said...

Since I believe in - and created - the maxim, "A person's intelligence and understanding are inversely proportional to the number of bumper stickers on their vehicle(s)," a bumper sticker is out of the question for me, but I can see a, "Don't blame me, I voted for Palin" t-shirt in my future.

Just watch: Obama will end up just being the face of Carter II/Clinton III. His suit is so empty it's a perfect vacuum that sucks the brains out of any libtard that so much as glances at him, like the Gorgon sisters, Stheno, Euryale, and Medusa, turning hapless sailors into stone.

Althouse is a premier example: Stoned on Obama.

Sarah said...

My friends who tried to respond to the experience question usually said something about how the Constitution doesn't mandate that someone be a governor before being President ("If it was good enough for the Founding Fathers, it's good enough for me!")

When I pointed out all the in-charge-of-real-world-stuff that our first six presidents engaged in, mostly before there was such a thing as a Presidency to run for, they generally didn't respond.

But he wasn't running on experience anyway, and I don't think most of his supporters cared.

The Beebs Blog said...

Two years on Capital Hill (Senate side) does not breed executive experience nor does the floor of the Illinois State Senate. So has the president elect gained any executive expertise? The truth is that he has none.
We will see a untested man of indecision brimming with ideas and media induced charisma for at least two years.

M. Simon said...

Can some one point to a Bush administration official judged guilty by a court of law who wasn't fired?

And Charlie Rangle's tax evasion doesn't count.

Nor William "Cold Cash" Jefferson's legal problems.

They are in the legislative branch.

orman said...

Oh, well, at least Sandy Burglar's name hasn't been mentioned. Yet.

Ken said...

This is rally just plain old CYA. The campaign and the transition have been run about the same, but the coverage is beginning to be a bit more competent. The media created, protected and reinforced the Obama movement. He is their President. Now, after refusing to write anything negative for over two years, they realize that they are going to be blamed for the upcoming disaster. The coverage is self interest. Report on the transition's problems and maybe people will forget who nurtured this catastrophe.

We won't forget. Obama is the media's creation. They can turn on him now, but the CYA won't work. The lapdogs are scurrying to hide in the shadows but even more than Obama and his voters, they are going to be held responsible.

There is a simple way to tell if a media outlet cares about the news. Find all mentions of either Hunter Biden or Bristol Palin. Eliminate those that were simply a mention like "Bristol Palin was at a campaign rally for her mother" or "R Hunter Biden applauded his father's speech". If the Biden stories outnumber the Palin ones you have a news organization, if it is the other way you have a gossip sheet or a propaganda outlet. There are not many news organizations left in America.

Never heard of Hunter Biden? He's a high power high priced Washington lobbyist to whose clients his father has steered millions of dollars. Never read that? I wonder why.

Adventurology said...

The idea that Obama (or any other candidate) "ran" his campaign is silly. The candidate is the product. The campaign managers are the ones who determine day-to-day logistics and keep the staff on-message. At best Obama came up with the broad themes of Hopey Changitude and Yeswecanism, but pros structured the actual campaign.

MTfromCC said...

Any leak coming from inside the transition (from former campaign officials) is intended. But they are dealing with a lot more outsiders, Clintonites, and DC insiders who can be as leaky as sieves. I still think the tram he is assembling makes Dubya even weaker and more pathetic than I thought, which was pretty bad to begin with. It'll be nice to have adults in charge again.

Montagne Mointaigne said...

I thought about this again and saw that Glenn Renolds moronically linked to this post (I say moronically because he just links to anything remotely negative about Obama by rote, even when it's things he would normally be in favor of). Who ever said the transition process had to take place confidentially? How do these "amateurish leaks" as they are portrayed lessen Obama's authority? Doesn't it seem like this transition is being conducted just as deliberately and deftly as the campaign?

Why do people like Glenn Renolds seem to be struggling and doing back flips to be critical of Obama? What is the need? Shouldn't he at least make a decision as president before he becomes a right-wing caricature? I know it wasn't until the arsenic/drinking water thing early in 2001 that I started thinking Bush was a doltish stooge.

blake said...

So, the President says, "OK, let's find out what the science says before passing some arbitrary standard" and that's what turns you against him MM?

Up till then, you'd just been neutral on the whole thing?

Let me ask you: What did the science finally say? And what did the standard finally get set at?

Montagne Mointaigne said...

Blake-- hope you like that tasty arsenic!

Oh yeah, then there was that whole Iraq war/flase pretenses thing.

Shut up.

blake said...

Yeah, I thought as much.

"Oh, I was fine with Bush until HE POISONED EVERYONE IN AMERICA AND MURDERED ALL THE IRAQIS."

It sounds so reasonable when you phrase it that way.