Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The smoke-filled room

It seems the sleazy American tradition of backroom deals by kingmakers is alive and well in the Obama administration.

On Oprah no less, Jill Biden let it slip that Joe was offered the choice between Vice President and Secretary of State. The media winked as though she had revealed that Biden has a tattoo on his rump, and went on with wall-to-wall coverage of the coronation.

But think about what she said.

That deal had to be made before the ticket was even announced. It certainly wasn’t a conversation held after November 4th.

Think about the firestorm that would have ensued had the target been Dick Cheney instead of Joe Biden. “Why, look at another example of those greedy GOP power brokers…blah…blah…blah.”

And listen to damage control kicking in, like it did when Obama-ites were implicated in the Blago scandal.

“To be clear, President-elect Obama offered Vice President-elect Biden one job only -- to be his running mate. And the Vice President-elect was thrilled to accept the offer.” (From Biden’s spokesman, Elizabeth Alexander.)

It appears that change really isn’t all that different. You line up your clout, make deals with other powerful people like the Clintons and Biden, mix in a few friends, and tell the public things are different in Washington now. Yeah, right.

What has changed in the smoke-filled room is that Obama is the only one smoking.

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