The Sarah Palin of the Democratic party – Howard Dean – has endorsed a product of the Chicago Machine’s favorite family as Obama’s chief of staff. He feels William Daley would be a “huge plus” for the Obama because he is someone “who knows Washington, but he also is not of Washington."
Yeah, that’s kinda the point – he’s from Chicago. Just like the guy in the Oval office who supposedly “knows Washington” but isn’t of there.
That’s worked out real well so far hasn’t it? In fact, it appears we’re going to see them shuffle one set of Chicagoans out while another comes in.
Dean also took a shot at the departing members of Obama’s staff for being contemptuous of the “professional left” – i.e. the liberal left:
Noting that many officials are "either out of the White House or going," Dean blasted Obama’s current officials who he says have treated the left wing of the Democratic Party with "contempt."
"As they say, don’t let the door hit you in the you-know-what on the way out," Dean said.
That is mostly pointed at Axelrod and Gibbs. That said, and Daley endorsed, Dean then even complained a bit about Daley (John Podesta was Dean’s first choice) not being left enough for him:
Dean acknowledged that he has big differences with Daley, who according to Dean has "been moving to the right over the last five to 10 years," but he said that Daley is "a grown-up who doesn’t treat people like they don’t know anything and you know everything."
Dean claims, however, that Daley will bring an “adult” mindset to the White House, a shot at the administration, saying that such a mindset hasn’t existed thus far, at least in the minds of the “professional left”(of which Howard Dean is a charter member).
It is fairly common for administrations to shuffle their staff after an electoral loss. In the days of Bush, Rumsfeld was the big news, but other changes also happened. That’s really not the point. Watch the appointments carefully to try to discern how the administration is trying to set itself up for the next two years. Hardliners or compromisers? “Liberal” or, as Dean claims of William Daley, more to the “right” (I think that’s a very relative term in this case)? Etc.
What’s going to be interesting is to see who Obama names to take probably the most visible spot being vacated, that of Bagdad Bob Gibbs. Like it or not the Press Secretary sets the tone for the administration and is its daily face. I think more can be discerned from that pick than just about any other (other than at department secretary level).
Meanwhile it is useful to note Dean’s remarks only because they quickly tune you in to the feelings of the “professional left” on most subjects. My guess he’s spot on in his condemnation of the staff leaving (as far as its dealing with the more liberal wing). I’d further guess that the criticism won’t stop with the incoming staff either – none of them will ever be left enough for the Howard Dean/Firedoglakes of this world.