On FNS, John Podesta, Obama’s transition guru, asserted that there was a progressive wing of the Republican Party but it had died several decades ago. He also admitted that his organization, Center for America Progress, had sucked down Soros dollars.
Next on FNS, Eric Cantor and Mike Pence spelled out that there was no realignment of the electorate in the last election, no move toward big government; rather, it was an expression of voter mistrust of government. Pence specified that it was an individual moment with a compelling candidate.
On TW, incoming Obama CofS Rahm Emanuel didn’t swing at many of Steph’s softballs but did say that energy and health care were the two big issues and that the ongoing economic crisis gave Obama cover to deal with them however he will. He expects that John McCain will be a partner in this.
On MTP, Obama crony and transition co-chair Valerie Jarrett told moderator Tom Brokaw that Michelle Obama was not interested in being “co-President.” He did not ask Ms. Jarrett if she were interested in being the next U.S. Senator from Illinois.
On FTN, Rahm said that for this lame duck Congress’ work on the additional stimulus package, Obama will remain in Chicago doing this and that. He has shown leadership, Obama insisted, through his “call for action.”
On LE, Harry Reid told guest host John King that he has forgiven McCain but still carries around the Thad Cochran statement of revulsion at the thought of a President McCain. But Reid said the Dems have a mandate to stop the divisiveness, and McCain told him that the election was over. Reid would approve of Obama retaining SecDef Gates because Gates is not a registered Republican.JOHN PODESTA ON FNS. On FOX News Sunday, host Chris Wallace interviewed Obama transition guru John Podesta.
Podesta stated that Obama wants another stimulus package and either the Bushies “cooperate” or Obama will roll it out first thing after he takes office. Obama wants nothing to do with any Bush appointees dealing with the economic crisis, Podesta stated flatly; he will bring in his “own team.”
Obama wants to “restore wages,” Podesta told Wallace, who asked him if Obama might run the risk of cluttering the agenda. Podesta allowed that there is “always a danger to clutter the agenda,” but Obama wants to address the “top tier issues” immediately.
Wallace asked Podesta if Obama had a “mandate,” and he answered: “I think he feels there was a strong vote for change… a real mandate for change.”
Podesta offered that there was a progressive wing in the Republican Party but it had “died… in the past several decades.” (We called them the “Rockefeller Republicans.)
Podesta stated that the Obama transition began in early August.
Podesta admitted that George Soros was an early contributor to his little Center for American Progress organization, which is sometimes though of us a division of Soros’s Open Society Institute. Podesta said that he will not take part in Obama’s Administration.
CANTOR AND PENCE ON FNS. Next up for host Wallace were Congressmen Mike Pence (in studio) and Eric Cantor (via satellite). Cantor argued that there had been no realignment of the electorate in the recent election, no shift to European-style socialistic government; rather, he said, the voters acted on their mistrust of government. This was not about right vs. left, he said, but right vs. wrong.
Pence added that this was no victory for progressive/liberal politics; rather, it was a victory for Barack Obama and the “enormously effective” Obama campaign. He said that this country had found an “extraordinary moment” in its history and backed a “compelling figure.”
“I’m a conservative,” Pence admitted, “but I’m not in a bad mood about it, Chris.”
Cantor averred that “we have to show that we understand what people are going through.” The GOP, he argued, has to run as the party of reform. The GOP must change, he insisted, and adapt to the new technology to reach people.
Wallace argued that this election was about issues, “not just charm.” Pence argued that the Republicans have to communicate their issues of limited government, reduced taxation, life, a sound national defense, etc. He said that Republicans had learned in their last two years in the minority that they must speak directly to the people. He said that in this 24/7 News Cycle, with the Internet, the Republicans can communicate their differences and turn things around sooner rather than later.
RAHM ON TW. On ABC, This Week host George Stephanopoulos interviewed one guest of note, Obama CofS Rahm Emanuel , before slipping into the intellectually lukewarm vat inhabited by such as David Gergen and Fareed Zakaria.
Rahm described John McCain as a “true patriot” who will be supportive of what the Obama Administration does. He will be a “partner” in helping to solve the huge problems.
Steph asked Rahm if Obama will give the automobile industry the money from the reserve fund, and Obama did not answer, yea/no. He said that they could give the industry immediately the $25-billion already allotted and they can look for other stuff.
Rahm said that two issues, energy and health care, have hurt the middle class, and the ongoing crisis in our nation’s economy gives the Obama Administration cover to deal with them as they will.
Asked about Harry Reid and Joe Lieberman, Rahm said that this was Congress’ problem. Obama will be focused on the immediate problems facing the country.
Finally, Steph asked Rahm about Obama’s replacement in the Senate. Would Obama select Valerie Jarrett, his senior advisor? Rahm did not answer.
VALERIE JARRETT ON MTP. On NBC’s Meet the Press, as luck would have it, moderator Tom Brokaw’s guest was that selfsame Obama crony and would-be U.S. Senator Valerie Jarrett. She was born in Iran. She was a single mother in Chicago and a White Sox fan who did undergrad at Stanford and got her JD from U. of Michigan. She worked as Deputy CofS for Chicago Mayor Richard Daley. Etc.
Now, she is co-chair of Obama’s transition team, and Obama has said of Jarrett: “I don’t make any major decisions without asking her about them.” Is this more troubling to the media than was Karl Rove in ’00? Nope.
Jarrett said that the economy and national security are Obama’s top priorities. She admitted that failed Michigan Governor Jen Granholm was one of Obama’s top economic advisors, along with Rubin, Volcker, Buffett, etc.
Brokaw asked Jarrett, what with are bad and constantly worsening economy, when Obama will name his Treasury Secretary when he feels like it, adding that he has a “wealth” of qualified people who want the job. (Waiting for the chance to implement their lifetimes’ Keynesian dreams.) She gleefully refused to give Brokaw any names other than the usual, media-listed folks.
She said that Obama will name Republicans to his cabinet because he believes in bipartisan discussion. Brokaw didn’t demand names. Brokaw suggested that Obama might retain some of President Bush’s cabinet members, specifically Gates. Jarrett said anything was possible.
Brokaw described Rahm as someone with “very sharp elbows” and asked: “Is there going to be a kinder, gentler Rahm Emanuel?” She said that Obama wants a bipartisan, collegial administration and that “there’s no one who can hit the ground running faster than” Rahm.
Brokaw mentioned the Clinton connections – Podesta, Rahm – and asked if Obama had been talking directly to President Clinton. Jarrett answered that Senator Clinton has been a “key advisor.”
Jarrett said that Michelle Obama is not interesting in being a “co-President,” then Brokaw asked if she had “a vote in the puppy selection.” That’s up to the Obama kids.
He did not ask Jarrett if she wanted to be Senator.
RAHM ON FTN. On CBS, Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer spoke to Rahm. Rahm said that Obama is already developing his economic team and that he will work at a “deliberate pace.” Schieffer want a time frame, and Rahm did not give him one. “Deliberate pace.”
Schieffer asked about the lame duck session of Congress and how Obama “will insert himself.” Will he take a leadership role? Rahm said that he’s already taking a leadership role, but Schieffer wanted to know if he’ll be in Washington as Senator from Illinois or back in Chicago assembling his team. Rahm answered that Obama will be in Chicago. Obama’s role will be limited, Rahm said, to his lame “call for action.”
Schieffer asked if Obama will demand that the Bush White House go along with the Reid-Pelosi solution to the automobile industry crisis. Rahm answered that there is one President at a time and that there was plenty of money in the pipes from the industry. “The automotive industry is a central part of our economy.”
Schieffer asked if Obama would propose permanent tax cuts for the middle class, and would he delay the tax hikes on the wealthy. Rahm said that Obama will use this crisis to reform education, energy, and health care. It’s part of Obama’s economic strategy, you know.
Schieffer concluded that Emanuel did not answer anything.
HARRY REID ON LE. On CNN, Late Edition guest host John King aired his interview with Harry Reid. King asked Reid if the voters were rejecting the Republicans or embracing the Dems. Harry explained that he’s read the lefty pundits and determined that this is a permanent change. Nevada, he said, is “very blue.”
Reid said that the Democrats had a “mandate to end the divisiveness.”
Reid said that he had a talk with McCain and told him that some of his statements were expressed in a way he no longer liked, and “John” told him that the election is over with.
King asked if Reid still carried n his pocket Senator Thad Cochran’s statement on John McCain, that the thought of a President McCain “sends a cold chill down my spine,” and Reid said that he did but that he was going to throw it out.
Reid said that McCain had said some mean things about him. He compared himself as a young man to John McCain as a young man. (At about the age when John McCain was a prisoner of war in Vietnam, Dingy Harry was lieutenant governor of Nevada.)
Reid said that he is tired of the Iraq war and that Obama will bring our troops home.
Reid will accept Secretary Gates’s return as SecDef, should Obama choose him, because Gates is not a registered Republican.
Reid said that what Joe Lieberman did “was wrong,” but the caucus would decide what to do with him.
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And this is a post-election, pre-partisan flight of fancy. Have at it.