Saturday, December 13, 2008

Early marks for the Obama team

Update: Chicago Tribune confirms today that Rahm Emanuel talked with Blago's man Harris about Obama's replacement on November 1 and gave him a list of replacement names acceptable to Obama. A few days after the election he called back and added Madigan to the list. Using a little political parsing of words, does that mean Emanuel is no longer part of the Obama team?

Given that he is the leader of the free world and will be hounded tenaciously for a quote on everything from Iran’s nuclear capability to our relationship with North Korea, we ought to take a look at this Obama fellow.

His first comments when asked about the Blago scandal were categorically wrong. He is no longer talking about ideas and campaign promises. This isn’t Joe-the-plumber. Sure, spending the day with Al Gore could muddle the brain, but you can’t afford to shoot off your mouth with the answer you would like to give; you have to give a true answer.

So, here’s how the team has performed so far.

As noted, you have Joe Biden, aka VP Hagrid.
See the link:
Gratefully, Biden has kept his mouth shut over Blago.

Then you have David Axelrod. He’s a political PR genius. He’s put Obama in office more than once and has also done work for all sorts of politicians in Chicago, including most of the names swirling around the current mess. Blago is (was) one of Axelrod’s clients.

Then comes Rahm Emanuel, the loveable congressman from Chicago who became Obama’s Chief of Staff. Always approachable, always candid. Until this week. Rahm was absent from Obama’s press conference on the Blago scandal. When the press tracked him down he was obviously rattled. In fact, Rahm was down right nasty about this coverage. That’s not like him at all.

Obama does not handle the negative very well.

Remember when he banned Ryan Lizza from the press plane in retaliation for The New Yorker cover in July?

Or in late October when Obama “ran out of room on the plane” for The Washington Times, The New York Post and The Dallas Morning News because they had endorsed McCain for president?

Or the banning of Florida station WFTV after a Biden interview with Barbara West where some tough questions were asked?

At present they are acting more like the transition team from Plains, Georgia in 1977 than a sophisticated group of seasoned political experts.

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