Monday, January 10, 2011

Staff Turnovers in Key Positions for Team Obama

Robert Gibbs is leaving his position as White House Press Secretary and moving on to the paid speakers circuit. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

A combative presidential mouthpiece with a tendency to go one sentence too far in his criticism of the president's opponents, it is not particularly unusual that Gibbs leaves now. Those in the position usually stay about two years and Gibbs is at that mark now. He has a young son and was not a wealthy man by the standards of others in the Obama administration. He can profit quite nicely now and bank some premium speaking fees. Maybe he will parlay that into a book deal, too. That would be common as well.

William Daley, longtime Washington insider and executive with JP Morgan, will step into the role as Chief of Staff. Another one of those famous exceptions/waivers will have to be used by President Obama as Daley is a lobbyist, violating Obama's pledge to stop the revolving door in Washington between political appointments and lobbyists.

Larry Summers is leaving, too. Another former Clinton administration member coming aboard Obama's sinking ship.

In his second major staffing announcement of the week, President Obama on Friday said he's tapping another former Clinton administration official to head his National Economic Council.

Former Clinton economic adviser Gene Sperling, currently an aide to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, will replace Lawrence Summers, another Clinton White House alumnus who left the post in December to return to a teaching post at Harvard.

It is not unusual that Obama would turn to former Clinton administration members to beef up his team, especially as he is now in full-on re-election mode. Clinton is the only former Democratic president since the days of the failed Carter presidency, decades ago. The Clinton people are business friendly and realists. They are exactly what this president needs, as his far left ideologues from Chicago and academia have proven to be unwise choices.

Will President Obama have the maturity and wisdom to move more to the center in governing? Will he begin to push business-friendly policy to bring about job creation and lower unemployment numbers? Time will tell, but it is his only path to re-election in 2012.

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