Obama Provides Reconciliation for Democrats
As we watch the President-elect’s transition team and the President-elect himself, one thing should become very clear to conservatives and Republicans and that is Obama is a very gifted politician. Two recent events point to this: 1)Obama backing Lieberman to retain his appointments in the Senate and 2)Obama’s potential appointment (and things look good) of Hillary Clinton to Secretary of State.
The Senate Democrats did not want to welcome Lieberman back into their fold; however, with the Senate Democrats not achieving a filibuster proof Senate, Obama had the political savvy to understand that Lieberman can get them there, and Obama encouraged (this being the kinder word) the Senate to welcome Lieberman back and allow him to keep his important Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee chairmanship. Lieberman is now beholden to Obama and will continue to caucus with Senate Democrats accordingly.
The second and even more important divided group among Democrats are the Hillary Clinton supporters often referred to as PUMAs (Party Unity My Ass). This group of voters supported Hillary Clinton and voted for John McCain and Sarah Palin. At least 4 million members strong, by appointing Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State he recaptures these 4 million disenfranchised Democratic voters. From the PUMA blogs I’ve read, they are generally happy and many of them ecstatic about this appointment. If her appointment doesn’t come to pass then all bets are off because this will further disenfranchise the PUMAs and the retribution by this group could end up being a political mistake by Obama that he may not overcome.
In one week, if all goes according to plan, President-elect Obama will have completely solidified the entire Democratic Party and will enter office riding this “righteous wind” — a very powerful position to start from and one that may be very difficult for the Republicans to overcome. If Obama’s victory on November 4th wasn’t evidence enough for you, his actions since that day prove that is he is a very formidable politician.