He's Not My President?

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Posts Tagged ‘Robert Gibbs

With Change, All We Have Left Now Is Hope

rgibbsRobert Gibbs, President Obama’s White House Press Secretary, appearing on Bob Schieffer’s Face the Nation yesterday uttered the word hope or a derivative thereof 5 times in describing how the “Stimulus Plan” will work out.  Without hope it sounds like the Obama Administration’s plan doesn’t have any chance of working.  Here are Mr. Gibbs hopes on the “Stimulus Plan” as taken from his interview with Mr. Schieffer:

Well Bob we certainly hope that this money gets moved out to states and localities to prevent them uh having to cut police officers or teachers uh…

Hopefully with this plan now that it’s through Congress and awaiting the President’s signature we believe that 3 1/2 million jobs will be saved or created by this plan…

So we’re hopeful that it will get this economy moving again…

You know the economic team believes that this bill will help us stay away from those double digit economic unemployment numbers, so we’re certainly hopeful of that…

He’s [President Obama] hopeful that Republicans start to reach back…  [emphasis added is mine]

Sounds like this change needs a whole lot of hope!  And here is my favorite quote from Mr. Gibbs on Sunday’s Face the Nation:

We’ve lost about 3.6 million jobs uh during the course of this recession and about half of those jobs, job losses have happened in the last three months…

I find this very interesting.  President Obama was elected on two campaign platforms HOPE and CHANGE.  And in the last 3 months, that would be since November 4th when President Obama was elected, we have lost 1.8 million jobs.  The other 1.8 million jobs took over a year to lose.  So maybe, just maybe most Americans and in particular small business owners and larger corporations aren’t seeing this hope and change mantra as a way to lead a country out of an economic recession.  With all of this change it seems that Americans are saying all we have left now is hope.

Written by KJ Kaufman

February 16, 2009 at 11:32 am

Rating Obama’s Cabinet — Unifiers or Dividers?

While listening to Barack Obama’s eloquence in his victory speech made at Chicago’s Grant Park Tuesday night, I was struck once again how good this wordsmith and performer is at delivering rhetorically beautiful oratory.  After I hear the speeches, I always have to go back and see if the latest oratory gives us any further substantive information regarding the man who will be our next  President.  According to BBC News, the speech can be broken down into the following parts: 

  • Change Has Come
  • Partners in the Journey
  • Victory for the People
  • The Task Ahead
  • Remaking the Nation
  • One Nation, One People
  • America in the World
  • A History of Struggle
  • This is Our Moment

As someone who did not support Obama, one part of the speech that was interesting to me was how Barack Obama plans to unify all of us including those of us who actively opposed him.  In the portion of the speech regarding One Nation, One People, Obama said:

Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House – a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity.

Those are values that we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours: “We are not enemies, but friends… though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.”

And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn – I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your president too.

Full Text of the Speech from BBC News

This theme of unifying the Nation has been a recurrent one throughout the Obama campaign.  It began when he said there are not red states nor blue states but the United States of America as he criss crossed the country stumping his candidacy.  So when he repeated this theme Tuesday night wanting to be our president too, I immediately thought that one way to judge the validity of this statement was to track and evaluate whether or not he brings unifiers to his administration or those who have a history of partisanship and division.

This post will continually be added to as Barack Obama appoints staff and cabinet members, but we have our first official appointment today of Rahm Emanuel as Chief of Staff.  Let’s see how Rahm does in the unifier divider test.

Rahm Emanuel

In the Associated Press article entitled “Emanuel Accepts Job as White House Chief”

WASHINGTON (AP) – Democratic officials say Barack Obama’s fellow Chicagoan Rahm Emanuel has agreed to be White House chief of staff.

One of Obama’s first decisions as president-elect was to ask the Illinois congressman to run his White House staff. Emanuel accepted Thursday after struggling over family and political considerations.

Emanuel serves in the House Democratic leadership and will have to resign his seat and put aside hopes of becoming House speaker.

Emanuel is a fiery Democrat who served as a political and policy aide in the Clinton White House.His selection is a shift in tone for Obama, who chose more low-key leadership for his presidential campaign.

The initial indications are that Rahm is not a unifier.  Rahm Emmanuel has earned a reputation of being very partisan and is nicknamed Rahmbo.  He has a reputation as a political street fighter.  Like Obama, Emanuel seems to lean to the very far left.  In the House, he voted 98% with democrats seemingly he has a very liberal mindset.  Even Daily Kos (a liberal backing website) doesn’t think Emanuel will make a good Chief of Staff and describes him thus:
There’s one thing that bothers me about him. It’s his ego. He doesn’t sublimate his ego in favor of others very easily, and it’s what I’ve observed from my interactions with him.

I’ll let you decide for yourself whether Rahm Emanuel is a unifier or a divider, but here are some links of stories and videos to help you decide:

My own analysis concludes that Rahm Emanuel is a hyper-partisan democrat.  In evaluating the appointments of Barack Obama anyone who is hyper-partisan or far left leaning (not mildly partisan or mildly liberal) gains them classification as a divider rather than a unifier for it is difficult to be a unifier if you do not see or give some credence to the other side of the aisle.

Unifier/Divider Tally     0-1

  • Rahm Emanuel (White House Chief of Staff) — Divider

Written by KJ Kaufman

November 6, 2008 at 2:27 pm