I may be right, I may be wrong, but my impression is…
If it’s true, as widely reported, that President-elect Obama has chosen Hillary Clinton (in effect, the Clintons) to be his new Secretary of State, it seems to me he may be doing something analogous to pushing the reset button on a malfunctioning computer.
Could it be that by choosing Senator Clinton, Obama is re-setting USA foreign policy? Could he be (figuratively speaking) returning to the pre-Bush era of eight years ago — returning to the President Clinton era that is familiar and, more or less, reassuring to world leaders? Could it be that Obama (who reportedly is a pragmatist) sees this reset as the best possible starting point to begin building his own, distinctive foreign policy?
Some items of interest this week
I. As mentioned above, rumor has it that President-elect Barack Obama wants Senator Hillary Clinton to be Secretary of State. But will former President Bill Clinton’s recent, highly lucrative, worldwide business activities pose an obstacle for her? Do some of the former president’s activities — paid speaking engagements, donations to his official library — create conflicts of interest for his wife who would be one of the highest officials in American government? (“Bill goes to the vet” Politico.com, Nov 19, 2008).
On the other hand, some say Hillary might simply tell Obama “No thanks! (“Clinton Said to Be Unsure About Cabinet Job” The New York Times, Nov. 18, 2008).
II. Another cabinet appointment of great importance to people outside the U.S. (in light of the ongoing worldwide economic crisis) is Obama’s new Secretary of the Treasury. On Friday it was widely reported that Obama has chosen Timothy Geithner as his new Treasury Secretary — a formal announcement reportedly is expected tomorrow.
The news of this choice reportedly caused an immediate surge of optimism on Wall Street, sending markets up a soaring 500 points (“Tim Geithner, Treasury Secretary” The Huffington Post).
III. President-elect Barack Obama is already doing something innovative — he’s posting his weekly, three-to-four minute radio broadcasts to the public on his newly created YouTube channel change.gov. As a helpful aid to those who need it, the video has subtitles in English.
In this week’s talk, Obama announces he has directed his economic team to assemble an Economic Recovery Plan that will save or create 2.5 million more jobs by January of 2011.
IV. When she becomes First Lady, Michelle Obama says she wants to be Mom-in-Chief. What does she mean by this (“Michelle’s Closet Agenda” The Daily Beast, Nov 18, 2008)?
Hint from the article:
Don’t be fooled by her Brady Bunch moments. The Mom-in-Chief will promote feminism, speak out on Iraq, and tackle America’s public health crisis.
And one group that seems to be particularly happy with Michelle Obama becoming First Lady is the world of high fashion (“Michelle Obama’s White House Style” WWD, Nov 11, 2008). Now there’s a new website, Mrs. O, solely dedicated to daily chronicling and photos of what that style is.
It was first inspired by Mrs. Obama’s wardrobe at the Democratic National Convention in August 2008. The site hopes to be a central, ever evolving resource to chronicle Mrs. O’s look, while providing fashion commentary and information. The site will encourage visitors to contribute tips, photos and commentary, and share enthusiasm for the budding style icon, Mrs. O.
Les Misbarack (One more day):
Laughs along the U.S. Presidential campaign trail (II) here.
Why Worry – Dire Straits