Weigel vs. Lilly, Round Two


My dust-up with Scott Lilly of the Center for American Progress continues here, with a back-and-forth about whom President Obama should and shouldn't put in his cabinet.

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  1. Scott Lilly writes: What is impressive about what we know of the Obama transition is that it has established an elaborate process to evaluate the skills of potential office holders and ensure that they are judged on the best available information rather than superficial biases or past political connections. We may have to wait a few weeks to know who will run this or that department or agency, but we at least have the satisfaction of knowing that great effort is being exerted to determine who will do the best job.

    This is the second time I’ve heard what a masterful job Obama’s team is doing at the transition! Give me a break. It is less than a week since the election and they have made 1 selection so far. Yes, the team does not sound as arrogant as Carter and Clinton were, but let’s wait until at least the second pick.

  2. A quick scan didn’t reveal any discussion of Obama breaking his promise not to include lobbyists, and the remarkably lax rules under which they will come onto his transition team (and, presumably, post-inauguration administration).

    I’d love to hear what Lilly has to say about that.

  3. Here’s an unofficial chart of Barry’s possible cabinet picks.

    My anti-choice governor is on the list.

  4. Lilly appears to have the same problem as his fellow CAPper Yglesias; he reads what he wants to read, not what is there. To wit, “I think you should reconsider your objection to Summers and Bonior as potential Cabinet members.” Weigel used Summers as an example of a *centrist* that is he is ‘cautiously optimistic’ of the direction and tenor of the Obama Administration.

    There is actually a good left-wing anti-Summers argument that has nothing to do with the ‘math is hard’ affair – namely that 1) he is (reportedly) a poor manager 2) undisputably, he was in charge when the tech bubble started to unwind, and 3) more contentiously, he was in charge when Graham-Leach-Biley was passed (esp if you take the stand that it’s a root cause of the present situtaion). That’s why I find it puzzling that so many orthodox liberals are rallying around Summers; I would figure they would more be in Laura D’Andrea Tyson’s camp.

  5. Yes, RC, the most imnportant thing to point out is that Obama is going to let people who worked as lobbyists serve in his adminstration in positions that have nothing to do with their lobbying work.

    HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!

    Those grapes probably aren’t any good anyway.

  6. Obama did, indeed, get a pretty strong mandate in this election, and his cabinet picks should reflect that.

    It was a Democratic mandate, but at the same time, not an overtly partisan one. This wasn’t Roosevelt ’36. This was a mandate for “a new tone in Washington” – one that has an unmistakable stamp of coming from the left side of the spectrum, but also one that is supposed to be different not just in ideology, but also style, from the Bush administration.

    This means people who are genuinely independent and accomplished in their own right, not just functionaries in an adminstration where everything is dictated by the White House political team.

    It also means people who aren’t dogmatic ideologues, but who are capable of appreciating both the other guy’s point of view and facts and evidence that challenge preconceptions. Weigel’s point about Bonoir is a good one.

  7. Yes, RC, the most imnportant thing to point out is that Obama is going to let people who worked as lobbyists serve in his adminstration in positions that have nothing to do with their lobbying work.

    joe, your naivete and lack of experience with the lobbying business is showing.The loopholes in the Obama Rules for Lobbyists are gaping, to someone who knows the biz.

    Most top-rank Washington lobbyists work for big firms, and members of Team O are only barred from working on an issue for Team O that they worked as a lobbyist during the past year. This means that members of Team O are free to work on issues that their firm lobbies, and free to work on any issues as Team O members that they personally worked on more than a year ago.

    Team O members are not allowed to lobby issues they worked as a Team O member for a whole year. They are free, therefore, to lay all the groundwork they want for issues that they will be personally lobbying in a year – IOW, during the current legislative cycle.

    Besides, having lobbyists working his team at all is a flat-out breaking of a campaign promise. But you’re cool with that.

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