The liberal left in the Democratic Party is worried that Obama isn't liberal enough. While the far, far GOP right is still contending Obama isn't an American citizen, hence he can't really be president. (Do they really want to go through another presidential election!) Here's the latest, courtesy of Politico.
Just Monday the Supreme Court rejected one legal challenge to Obama's citizenship:
"The Supreme Court Monday rejected one case contending that Obama is not a "natural born citizen," as the president is required to be under Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution. The case, referred to the court by Justice Clarence Thomas after Justice David Souter had rejected it, argued that because Obama's father was a citizen of Kenya, at the time a British colony, the president-elect was born with dual citizenship.
Obama makes it official today. For a history of the recent Obama-Clinton negotiations and relation, here's a piece from Politico:
“ `I think that the people around each disliked the other candidate more than they ever disliked each other,' a Democrat who has closely observed their relationship over the years wrote in an email Sunday. `If you look at the reporting around the VP process, Obama often asked his team, 'should we take another look at Hillary? '
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin plans to attend next Tuesday's meet in Philadelphia with President-elect Barack Obama and a majority of the nation's governors, her office says. The governors and Obama, along with Vice President-elect Joe Biden, are scheduled to discuss the effects of the economic downturn on state budgets.
The falling price of a barrel of oil has reduced Alaska's income a bit lately. Palin, the GOP vice-presidential nominee, is combining the National Governors Association conference with a trip to Georgia to campaign for Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss, who is in a runoff election. No word on whether she'll chat privately with her two former foes.
Obama held his third press conference in so many days, to introduce yet another piece of his economic team, this group headed by Paul Volker, whose job is apparently to second guess the team in Washington D.C.as it tries to right the listing ship that is Wall Street, Main Street, and Detroit City.
"Sometimes policy making in Washington can become a little bit too ingrown, a little bit too insular," Obama said in Chicago. "The walls of the echo chamber can sometimes keep out fresh voices and new ways of thinking."
The Wall Street Journal story, link above, had this interesting bit of background:
There were two interesting moments at today's Obama press conference announcing the latest appointments to his budget team. Or make that one comment he did make, and another remark he didn't.
What he did say, in answer to a question of when he was going to help his "friends" in state governments weather the economic storms, Obama responded state and local governments will get help, but that the decision will be based on needs and results.
"Friendship doesn't come into this," he said, "That's the old way of doing things."
We may be seeing an Obama trend here, at least through the inauguration.
Short, pithy press conferences on specific issues.
Today’s was the economy, where Obama confirmed Friday’s news that his treasury secretary will be Tim Geithner.
The Washington Post ponders the psychological/life style changes facing the Obama family as it moves into the White House, and out of the comfort zone in Chicago.
Here's the key graphs:
"During his political rise, Obama safeguarded times of normalcy and credited them for keeping him sane. A run on the treadmill in the early morning. An evening meander through 57th Street Books. Date night with his wife, Michelle, at one of their favorite restaurants. Pickup basketball at a gym downtown.
The once, and perhaps future, candidate for national office talks about how Americans "just want government to get out of their way" (tell that to Detroit and the financial industry) and discusses her Thanksgiving Day plans. Be sure to check out the fellow in the background.
Click here for Philly.com's politics page.
David Igantious of the Washington Post produced one of the more thoughtful recent articles about Obama as he assumes the presidency:
"The man who has spent his life "becoming" must now "be." Obama has been the sojourner, as David Brooks of the New York Times has written, passing through places and institutions, alighting but never putting down deep roots. He has always been on his way elsewhere, in a journey of discovery and self-actualization that may be unmatched in American political history. And now he is at the doorstep of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Obama plays on a different stage now, and it's less forgiving. After a zero-defect campaign, the transition team has already begun to make some mistakes. The choice of Rahm Emanuel as White House chief of staff was a good one, but awkwardly handled; the news media were told he had been offered the job before he had agreed to accept it, setting both of them up for embarrassment if he refused.
One possible door to 2012 may just have closed on Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska.
Democrat Mark Begich, the mayor of Anchorage, has defeated the convicted felon U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens (R,AK) in his bid for reelection. Stevens, the longest-serving Republican in Senate history, was convicted last months on seven corruption counts for not reporting $250,000 in gifts.
Republican strategists have advised Palin, the party's failed vice-presidential nominee, to try to remain relevant on the national stage -- Alaska is, after all, remote, far from any major media market -- and there was widespread speculation that she would seek to go to Washington if Stevens won reelection and subsequently quit or was expelled from the Senate.