Versailles welcomes Obama
Surprisingly this Thanksgiving, the Washington Establishment had a lot to give thanks for. And its chief mouthpiece – the Washington Post’s neoconservative editorial page – was glowing over its good fortune in the three-plus weeks since Barack Obama's election.
On Friday, the Post’s lead editorial thanked President-elect Obama for settling on insider favorites for key jobs, especially officials with long records of promoting the neocon foreign policy agenda. ...
... The Post editorial writers were especially excited over the prospect of Obama keeping Robert Gates as Defense Secretary. “We hereby join what undoubtedly will be the large chorus that hails this choice,” they wrote.
The Post also hailed the expected selection of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State and the early appointment of Rahm Emanuel as White House chief of staff. The common denominator of the three is a close association with Bush’s Iraq War – Gates as its current defender and Clinton and Emanuel as neocon-lite Democrats who were early advocates.
The troika of Gates, Clinton and Emanuel – with a supporting cast of Bush administration holdovers at the Pentagon and “centrist Democrats” from the Brookings Institution moving to State – will mean at minimum that Obama will encounter many dragging feet slowing a military withdrawal from Iraq.
Obama may think it’s quite clever – or at least literary – to assemble “a team of rivals” in the mold of Abraham Lincoln in 1861. But he’s likely in for a rude awakening over what it means in the world of modern Washington to assemble an administration in which top players and their subordinates don’t agree with your positions.