Friday, January 7, 2011

Clinton Vets for Obama

Does anyone remember when Barack Obama was the anti-Clinton? Hillary Clinton represented continuing the Clinton policies of the 90s. Moderate, incremental upgrades in policy, like a $3,500 targeted tax credit for college. Obama represented change--which was, whatever it was, going to be more boldly liberal, more intellectual (see this piece from David Leonhardt and any David Brooks column from 2008) and involve new people.

Then the change never came. Now, hoping to drive a nail into the "Obama Myth," Barack just brought on two new Clinton-era veterans. First, a new chief of staff, William Daley, a Wall Street executive best-known for the disaster that was Gore's 2000 presidential campaign. Despite the fact that Gore won (not a typo), Daley gets a D for letting it get that close and losing the recount battle.

Second, a new economic advisor, Gene Sperling. I like Sperling. The first time I heard or read about him was a rousing speech he gave on basic education in developing countries. He's a smart guy, even if he's a bit of an economic and academic light-weight compared to Summers and others, but he makes up for it with vigor. I don't have many kind words for Obama, but this was a great pick.

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