Wednesday, December 3, 2008
I find Obama's selections for financial and national security advisers rather troubling because they don't seem to square with the campaign rhetoric of "change we can believe in." Folks like Larry Summers and Timothy Geither are proteges of Clinton's former secretary of the treasury Robert Rubin. These people are partly responsible for the development of many of the exotic financial instruments and deregulation at the center of the current financial crisis. It is difficult to believe they represent the fresh thinking needed to extricate ourselves from this mess. As for national security, the main three - Hillary Clinton, James Jones, and Robert Gates - are interesting to say the least. Clinton's selection for state is easily the most problematical. I still believe that her foreign policy experience is vastly overblown, and with her you get Bill, which means a lot of drama. Jones is a close friend of John McCain and even appeared with the latter on the campaign trail. Gates is obviously a Bush holdover and the best thing that can be said for him is that he isn't Donald Rumsfeld. Now Obama claims that he values strong personalities and strong opinions, and he obviously thinks that his vision will dominate this motley crew. I say only time will tell.