When it comes to politics, I never expect the candidates to uphold all of the promises they make while on the campaign trail. Call me a realist, but I know it’s impossible for someone who has no idea what the job will entail to make promises on how they will do that job before they actually get it.
Presidential candidates have no idea what it really means to be President of the United States until they win the election and are brought up to speed on what’s really going on in the world. There is no other job in the world that can help them prepare for their first national security briefing. They have no idea what it takes to be, or what needs to be done as, president. If they knew what it took they would never want the job in the first place.
Over the course of the past two years we heard three words. They became the focus of Barack Obama’s campaign for the presidency.
Hope, change, and inspiration.
For two years Barack Obama promised to fill our lives with hope. He was going to bring new hope and vision to the Oval Office. For two years he promised to bring change to Washington, D.C., he said there would be no more business as usual. He spent two years inspiring people to believe he was the man that would change everything. He inspired enough people to be elected the 44th President of the United States.
Now, reality sets in.
His first chance for change came with his selection for White House Chief of Staff. The Chief of Staff is the President’s senior aide and is the second highest-ranking member of the Executive Office of the President of the United States. So who did he pick to help him bring hope and change to Washington? Rahm Emanuel.
Rahm Emanuel was a senior advisor to President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1998 and while serving as an advisor he was a leading strategist to institute universal healthcare. He resigned in 1998 to became an investment banker. In 2000, President Clinton appointed him to the Board of Directors for the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac). A year later, he ran for Congress.
Barack Obama’s second chance to make a change in Washington also failed when he made his choice for Attorney General. The United States Attorney General is the head of the U.S. Department of Justice and is the chief law enforcement officer of the U.S. government. Mr. Obama chose Eric Holder to serve as Attorney General.
In 1988, Eric Holder was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to serve as a judge on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. He stepped down in 1993 when he was appointed as U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia by President Bill Clinton. In 1997, Clinton nominated him to be the next Deputy Attorney General under Janet Reno. Eric Holder held a “neutral” position leaning toward “favorable” on the pardon of Marc Rich. Although he denied his recommendation was an official Justice Department position, he was ultimately responsible for President Clinton’s decision to pardon Rich.
Yet another change comes in the person of Tom Daschle serving as Secretary of Health and Human Services. Daschle is a former U.S. Senator and Senate Majority Leader. In the past he criticized the Clinton administration for not moving fast enough with healthcare reform. His wife, Linda Hall, was acting administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration under the Clinton administration and is one of Washington’s top lobbyists.
President-Elect Obama seems to be padding his administration and his cabinet with key players from the Clinton Administration, including Hillary Clinton herself. Apparently he has offered her the job of Secretary of State, and word has it that she will be accepting the position. I don’t get it. How is tapping people who ran the government in the 1990’s going to bring change to Washington? Is that supposed to inspire me? Exactly when are we going to see a change?
Barack Obama spent two years talking about hope, change, and inspiration then followed up with two weeks of business as usual in Washington. So much for hope, change, or inspiration.
Now, reality sets in.