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Obama’s gameplan?
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, November 13, 2008

John Podesta, Obama's transition team co-chair, provides an interesting glimpse into the possible immediate plans, structure and decisions of the Obama administration:
In excerpts of a book being released in January, "Change for America: A Progressive Blueprint For The 44th President," Podesta describes the need for a chief executive that scores quick and decisive victories while exhibiting respect for Congress and some independence from the early demands of political interest groups.

Writing in sometimes ominous terms about a future Democratic government, he emphasizes that the president-elect must move aggressively on his agenda "regardless of the environment," or face a revolt from voters.

"[I]f the president and his administration do not take the time upfront to develop a clear and coherent blueprint for action — and find ways to move this agenda regardless of the environment — then they will quickly find the windows of opportunity shutting before their eyes and will face increased public frustration and disappointment," he writes in the book's introduction.
So, "quick victories", "regardless of environment" (economic?), with an eye toward "exhibiting respect for Congress and some independence from the early demands of political interest groups" but ensuring he moves aggressively enough so he doesn't face a "revolt from the voters"?

Unless I've missed something, that's going to take a contortionist-in-chief.

Podesta goes on:
"Sustaining political capital and momentum for the agenda requires early victories on key issues on which the president campaigned. To achieve early victories, the president needs to take advantage of the power of the executive branch to make change happen on its own. Executive orders, regulatory waivers, reallocation of appropriated program resources, and changes to program policies are routes available in many circumstances to show that change can happen quickly," write Podesta and Wartell.
So the strategy essentially boils down with arranging the furniture differently on the Executive side of the house through rescinding some executive orders, writing some new EOs and trumpeting them to the public. The most visible are likely to involve embryonic stem cell research, federal funding for abortion, GITMO, torture and oil and gas leases.

All are red-meat issues for the left, but in the big scheme of things not the systemic changes for which they're calling. But apparently Podesta thinks it may put them off for a while.
"With a change of party, some administrations have spent great energy in reversing the regulations and agency policies of the prior administrations. Some reversals will be important to show the change in direction the president wants to achieve, but the demands from interest groups to focus on policy restoration should be resisted. The reason: It lets the president's predecessor and his political party continue to pick the issue around which the debate is held. Administrations are notoriously slow to get their own regulatory agenda into gear. Doing so is one of the best ways to shape the debate quickly, while legislative agendas are developed."
As I said, it puts the left off for a while by throwing them the red meat and distracting them until the legislative agenda is developed. Of course that assumes an activist Congress can be held off as well. That's going to be Raham Emanuel's job.

On the last podcast we discussed the role of the White House Chief of Staff's position that is going to be filled by Raham Emanuel. Here's how the transition team envisions it:
"[I]n any model it is the president's best interest for his chief of staff to be a powerful decision maker on both process and substance on issues of significance, within parameters established by, and in service of the goals and strategies of, the president," they write. "The new president should put special emphasis on having a staff with strong Capitol Hill relationships.... Disrespect of Congress' prerogatives can give rise to enormous obstacles to the president's goals, even if public support is mobilized."
So it appears that if this is the model, Emanuel will be involved in more than just administering the staff and being a gate keeper. He will be a "decision maker" on both "process and substance of issues" and he'll act as a liaison with Congress to push the president's agenda I assume. That's a very different role for the CoS than has been played in other administrations. It's an activist role vs. a bureaucratic role.

Each incoming administration faces the daunting task of transitioning from campaign mode where word, not deeds, rule, to the governing role, where deeds, not words most matter. For the first time, Obama will be faced with making decisions that are his and his alone. No matter how many agree with him and no matter who formulates the plan, it doesn't go forward until he says "do it". Then he lives with the results - intended or otherwise.

The structure of the administration, while critical, doesn't change that one important point - he will be the "decider-in-chief". And you can't vote "present" in that role.
 
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"Sustaining political capital and momentum for the agenda requires early victories on key issues on which the president campaigned. To achieve early victories, the president needs to take advantage of the power of the executive branch to make change happen on its own. Executive orders, regulatory waivers, reallocation of appropriated program resources, and changes to program policies are routes available in many circumstances to show that change can happen quickly," write Podesta and Wartell.

Translation: forget Congress. Forget healing. The Annointed One is going to use the power of the presidential pen to ORDER a few things done.

Oh, they might not be huge things, but they’ll be big enough to both throw some meat to his loopy constituents AND provide "evidence" of just how dynamically and effectively he instituted "change" when he took office. Think of how the dems (spit) in Congress have trotted out a laundry list of "accomplishments" they’ve had in the last two years whenever anybody suggested that the Congress under SanFran Nan and Dingy Harry have been... um... worthless. And, in point of fact, people bloody well EXPECT him to do something: if he goes into office and appears to dither (voting "present", as it were) while the economy flails, he’s going to look like a fool. Even if he does the "wrong" thing, people want leadership.

The problem for The Annointed One is that his orders and decisions have to walk the fine line between appeasing his crazy base and not overly irritating the rest of the country, many of whom are dead certain that he’s going to try to cram through a far-left agenda that will be ruinous to the country.

The big question for The Annointed One and the rest of the democrats (spit) is just how far left the country really is. Did a majority of American voters put The Annointed One in office and increase the dem (spit) majorities in Congress because they want a far-left agenda of higher taxes, bigger government, and milquetoast foreign policy? Or did they merely revolt against Bush and the lousy economic situation? If the former... Well, it’s bad for the country but good for the dems (spit), and ain’t it funny how those two things seem always to go together? If the latter, then the dems (spit) are in for a rude surprise like the one Slick Willie and his loathesome crew got when one of his first acts was to legalize gays in the military* and then start the process of socializing our health care system.

We shall see.

———

(*) As an aside, I’ve come to terms with this. "Don’t ask, don’t tell" seems a sensible policy that acknowledges the obvious facts that (1) gays can be just as good soldiers as straight men and women though (2) their presence can cause (ahem) dismay to some of their hetero comrades.
 
Written By: docjim505
URL: http://
"scores quick and decisive victories..."

This is the "execord" period, when Obama gets rid of Gitmo, allows gays to serve openly in the military, and gives billions to Planned Parenthood so they can spread their evil across the world.

Obama will do more damage in one week than Clinton did in his first year.

 
Written By: James Marsden
URL: http://
Executive orders, regulatory waivers, reallocation of appropriated program resources, and changes to program policies are routes available in many circumstances to show that change can happen quickly," write Podesta and Wartell
Remember the past 8 years when an Executive Order was seen as a dictatorial abuse of power?
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Who’s ready for some Change! Man I’d hate to be a conservative right now.
 
Written By: TomD
URL: http://
Who’s ready for some Change! Man I’d hate to be a conservative right now.


You would hate to be a free person right now, too.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://newpaltzjournal.com
Unless I’ve missed something, that’s going to take a contortionist-in-chief.
Ha! That’s gonna leave a mark...still best chuckle I have had all week. Thanks McQ!
 
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