Obama to Name National Security Team Today
President-elect Barack Obama is expected to
his national security team this morning at a press conference. The expected nominees are:
- Secretary of state: Sen. Hillary Clinton
- Secretary of defense: Robert Gates
- Secretary of homeland security: Gov. Janet Napolitano
- Attorney general: Eric Holder
- National security adviser: Gen. James Jones
- Ambassador to the United Nations: Susan Rice
None of the team members are expected to face confirmation difficulties in the Senate,
but the challenges they will face are
including two wars and allies whose trust in the U.S. has been badly damaged during the
past 8 years.
The most surprising choice (although her name has been widely leaked) is Hillary Clinton,
his former rival for the presidency. Clinton traveled to nearly 100 countries as first
lady and has served on the Senate armed forces committee. She knows world leaders like few
others. She is also known to be especially interested in women's rights and the use of
America's soft power. But she voted for the Iraq war resolution, which may now help
her as foreign leaders are warned in advance that she does not hesitate to use
military power when that is in America's interest. The main concern with her is
that a secretary of state is effective only when everyone believes that talking to her
is the same as talking to the President. There can't be any daylight between the two
or word gets out fast that talking to the SoS is a waste of time--better call the President.
USA Today has a good
on this latter point.
The Dance Around Clinton's Seat is in Full Swing
Hillary Clinton's Senate seat will be filled by Gov. David Paterson (D-NY).
There is no shortage of people who would be honored to accept a freebie trip to the Senate.
To start with, New York State has 26 Democratic members of the House, all of whom
would surely take the promotion if offered.
But there are many factors for Paterson to consider. Women want to keep the seat in
female hands. Latinos think it is time for one of them. Upstaters don't want someone
from the New York metropolitan area (Clinton lives in Chappaqua, in downstate
In addition, Paterson has his own interests, like getting a potential primary rival in 2010,
attorney general Andrew Cuomo, safely out of the way in Washington. And finally, he wants to
pick someone who can win the special election in 2010.
CQ Politics has a
of possible picks.
Sales Up, But not Profits on Black Friday
Customers jammed the stores on the day after Thanksgiving and sales were good
but only because retailers offered huge discounts on just about everything.
As a result, revenues may not fall so much this Christmas shopping season, but
profits may be weak.
That is not a good sign for the economy, of course.
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-- The Votemaster