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Continuity Trumps Change; Bush Appointees Bernanke, Mullen, Mueller Likely to Remain Under Obama

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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-10-08 11:38 AM
Original message
Continuity Trumps Change; Bush Appointees Bernanke, Mullen, Mueller Likely to Remain Under Obama
Edited on Mon Nov-10-08 11:39 AM by DeepModem Mom
Source: Washington Post, Page One

As President-elect Barack Obama prepares to fill top positions for his incoming government, he faces a stubborn reality: Some of the key individuals he will rely upon to tackle the country's most serious challenges are holdovers from the current administration -- a trio of Bush appointees who will likely stay in place for at least the first year or two of Obama's presidency.

In confronting the financial crisis and weakening economy, Obama must turn to Ben S. Bernanke, a Republican and former chairman of President Bush's Council of Economic Advisers, who will lead the Federal Reserve for at least the first year of the new administration.

In assuming control of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama must work with Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who was appointed by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates for a two-year term that will end in late 2009 and, by tradition, can expect to be appointed for a second term as the president's top military adviser. Mullen shares Obama's belief in focusing more on Afghanistan but is wary of a timeline for withdrawing troops from Iraq.

And in guarding against terrorist attacks -- while correcting what he considers the Bush administration's excesses -- Obama will rely upon FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, whose term expires in 2011.

Obama has made it a point of pride to seek consensus with those who do not fully agree with him, and he is even considering keeping Gates at the Pentagon to ensure a smooth transition. But the need to rely heavily on officials who served in the Bush administration -- an era from which he promises a sharp break -- underscores his constraints. His campaign's success was based partly on the selection of a team he personally trusted, but in his first years in the White House, he will not be able to rely solely on advisers of his choosing....

Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-10-08 11:42 AM
Response to Original message
1. Meh, I'll believe it when I see it. Everything is rumor right now. nt
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Jim__ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-10-08 11:48 AM
Response to Original message
2. Bernanke is untouchable.
I think it's good policy to leave the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and head of the FBI in place unless there is a serious need to replace them. Those should not be political positions.
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lelgt60 Donating Member (417 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-10-08 11:50 AM
Response to Original message
3. Continuity is important for stability and confidence...
but I don't expect it to last for long. Like until Obama sees what's really been going on (which is probably worse than he feared).

Also, he will probably wait until he sees recommendations from some of his appointees.

Does anyone know, when the Post says "appointed to an x year term", what this really means? What does it take to change this?
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Alcibiades Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-10-08 12:10 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. A resignation

These positions are not partisan political appointments in the sense of those appointments to the cabinet or even elsewhere in the executive branch. Under statute, the are insulated from the political process somewhat by being appointed to fixed terms. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff serves a four-year term, the FBI Director a 10-year term, and the Fed Chair serves a four-year term.

It may be status quo, but it is built into the system that way. It would take a resignation, impeachment or an act of Congress. It is probably true that someone incumbent in one of thse jobs would resign at the request of the president, but there's not statutory requirement that they do so--in fact, the fact that this is not the case is an effort to insulate these jobs from the vagaries of partisan politics. The article does a pretty bad job of spelling out why this is the case.
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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-10-08 10:14 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Resignation is what it takes. Yes...
If there are indications of incompetence or other serious reasons the President just needs to call in the the person and lay it out. Then give him the option of resigning.
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BumRushDaShow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-10-08 10:22 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. Agree that the WP headline is almost inflammatory in its slant.
There are a number of positions out there (e.g., FCC Commissioners, etc.) that are appointed to "terms" and for a reason. But for them to claim that "continuity trumps change" as if Obama suddenly dropped his main campaign point upon election, is disingenuous. Such is an example of the clueless M$M. :eyes:
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Alcibiades Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-10-08 12:09 PM
Response to Original message
4. delete dupe
Edited on Mon Nov-10-08 12:11 PM by Alcibiades
replied to Op, not the post I intended.
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Doctor_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-10-08 12:13 PM
Response to Original message
6. Krugman seems to be OK with Bernanke, so I guess I can live with it
What would inspire confidence in me would be lots of indictments and prison sentences for vote cagers, domestic spies, CIA agent outers, and domestic terrorists.
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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-10-08 11:08 PM
Response to Original message
9. The Chairman of the Federal Reserve cannot be fired by the President
His term expires in 2011 and Obama can then choose whether or not to keep him or replace him. People should read before they get hysterical.
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TheKentuckian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-10-08 11:23 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Yeah, I was tthinking the McCain reaction to the meltdown
would have reminded everyone of that.

Most people in the know seem to think he's pretty capable.
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TexasObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-10-08 11:50 PM
Response to Original message
11. Just say NO to Mueller! He's terrible.
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TexasObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-10-08 11:50 PM
Response to Original message
12. Just say NO to Mueller! He's terrible.
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