Archive for the ‘Obama Administration’ Category

Robert Gates and Mike Mullen (Pentagon), Bernard Bernanke (Federal Reserve), and Robert Mueller (FBI) likely to stay put in their current jobs when the Obama administration takes over next year.


The Washington Post has this writeup of some of the immediate executive branch policy changes being looked at by the new administration.

Transition advisers to President-elect Barack Obama have compiled a list of about 200 Bush administration actions and executive orders that could be swiftly undone to reverse White House policies on climate change, stem cell research, reproductive rights and other issues, according to congressional Democrats, campaign aides and experts working with the transition team.

A team of four dozen advisers, working for months in virtual solitude, set out to identify regulatory and policy changes Obama could implement soon after his inauguration. The team is now consulting with liberal advocacy groups, Capitol Hill staffers and potential agency chiefs to prioritize those they regard as the most onerous or ideologically offensive, said a top transition official who was not permitted to speak on the record about the inner workings of the transition.

In some instances, Obama would be quickly delivering on promises he made during his two-year campaign, while in others he would be embracing Clinton-era policies upended by President Bush during his eight years in office.

“The kind of regulations they are looking at” are those imposed by Bush for “overtly political” reasons, in pursuit of what Democrats say was a partisan Republican agenda, said Dan Mendelson, a former associate administrator for health in the Clinton administration’s Office of Management and Budget. The list of executive orders targeted by Obama’s team could well get longer in the coming days, as Bush’s appointees rush to enact a number of last-minute policies in an effort to extend his legacy.


“As a young man, he had a serious accident.  I think many of you are aware of this, he was working in a deli, an accident with a meat-slicing machine, he lost part of his middle finger.  As a result of this, this rendered him practically mute. (LAUGHTER)  Has he ever flashed that little stubby thing at you?  It’s appalling.”

Senator Barack Obama roasting his future Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, September 20, 2005.


Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, has written President-elect Barack Obama a letter congratulating him for his election victory, and said he hoped the new president would “choose to honor the real interests of people and justice and equity over the insatiable appetites of the selfish minority.” Ahmadinejad also said that people want “fundamental change in the American government’s policies, both foreign and domestic.”

This is an interesting development for several reasons. First, during the campaign Hillary Clinton and John McCain tried to hammer Obama over his willingness to talk to America’s adversaries without preconditions, Iran being one of the countries in question. Second, this is the first time since the Iranian revolution of 1979 that an Iranian president has congratulated an American president-elect.

You can read an English translation of the full text of the letter here.

This could be the beginning of an interesting new chapter in U.S.-Iranian diplomatic relations.


Politico reporting that Robert Gibbs will be Obama’s White House Press Secretary.

Update: Rahm Emanuel accepts the Chief of Staff Job.

Update II: Colin Powell will not be part of the Obama administration.

Update III: Stephanopoulos reporting that David Axelrod will be Senior Adviser.

The Huffington Post published my story about watching the Election returns with Democrats Abroad in Rome.

The only Democratic Senators to lose their seats last night were Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

Also, Joe Biden got to vote for himself twice yesterday on the Delaware ballot, as vice president and as senator. (Joe Lieberman did the same thing in 2000)

The Huffington Post has a fantastic slide show of reactions to Obama’s win from overseas.

Kenya has declared today (Wednesday) a national holiday in Barack Obama’s honor.

John Aravosis has compiled the front pages of major foreign newspapers.

What an incredible end to the campaign.

MSNBC is reporting that Rahm Emanuel has been offered the White House Chief of Staff job and is currently “agonizing” over the decision.