Read the Bills Act Coalition

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Rule #1 of being President, Don't tick off your base

If there is one thing Obama can learn from "W" in terms of being President...don't tick off your base since they'll turn on you like a Lion on a Lion tamer..From the San Fran Chronicle:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein's chilly response Tuesday to outreach from President-elect Barack Obama - after stomping on his choice of fellow Californian Leon Panetta as head of the CIA - dealt the incoming administration what is being described as the first "brush-back pitch" from powerful Democrats in Washington......Feinstein - the new chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who will oversee Panetta's confirmation hearings - raised eyebrows when she expressed surprisingly sharp disapproval of Panetta as nominee for CIA chief on Monday. She said that "the agency is best served by having an intelligence professional in charge." Panetta has no intelligence agency experience....Feinstein, the outgoing chair of the Senate Rules Committee, followed that shocker Tuesday by breaking with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Obama when she said Roland Burris should be seated as the newest U.S. senator after he was appointed to Obama's seat by Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who is under investigation for trying to sell the seat vacated by the president-elect. ....Vice President-elect Joe Biden said Tuesday it was a mistake not to give Feinstein a courtesy heads-up about the coming nominations of Panetta and retired Adm. Dennis Blair as national intelligence director. But even after Biden and Obama contacted her personally Tuesday, the California senator didn't soften her opposition to Panetta, saying only that now she is "looking forward" to talking to the former Clinton White House chief of staff "about the critical issues facing the intelligence community." .....Those who know Feinstein well and have worked intimately with her insist that her public critique of Panetta was not personal in nature. Though the two have competed on the political stage - a movement in 1998 to get Panetta to run for governor was derailed largely by rumors that Feinstein would throw her hat in the ring - insiders say that this week's dustup was more a message to the incoming Obama administration about Beltway politics. ...."Leon certainly has management and organizational experience up the wazoo, and clearly he knows how to run an organization," said Barbara O'Connor, professor of political communication at Cal State Sacramento. But Feinstein is "chair of the committee ... the rules are the rules. You have to get along with the senior elected officials of your own party, and she's one. And they require face time. Had they briefed her adequately ... she wouldn't have been surprised," she said. ....One high-level Democrat with strong ties to Feinstein, who spoke on condition of anonymity, characterized the senator's statements on Panetta this week as "a show of strength, a brush-back pitch, from a powerful chair who can be helpful or hurtful" to Obama...."She feels strongly about protocol," Feinstein's friend said. "As chair of the Intelligence Committee, she expected a courtesy call, especially if it was going to be outside the norm."..."If she did not respond with a show of strength, she'd be seen as weak," the insider said. "This is not the time for weak leaders. And she is not the kind of wallflower that would simply turn the other cheek with this kind of offense."....Feinstein's public irritation was not echoed by the junior senator from California, Democrat Barbara Boxer, who expressed enthusiastic support of Panetta in an interview with The Chronicle on Tuesday....."He's a wonderful leader, manager, reformer ... with a lot of skills," Boxer said. "And I guess there're two things you could look for - an outsider like Leon who could come in and reform the agency and build up the trust ... and make it more amenable to working with the other agencies. The other is to just take an expert in intelligence and put them in charge - and that's more a hands-on person, an 'into the weeds' person." ...Obama, she said, "took the right approach ... you pick someone like Leon," with insider experts like Blair working alongside him and others with experience assisting him.....With just 14 days until the president-elect's inauguration, the unexpected umbrage from a powerful California senator over the naming of a well-known and highly respected California nominee underscores what one Democratic insider describes as a political "reality check for Obama...."The lesson is that, despite the Democratic euphoria over winning the White House back and expanding our margins in the House and the Senate, you still have very powerful committee chairs ... who will be very protective of their turf," said Democratic strategist Garry South. ..."Jimmy Carter came into office and ran afoul almost immediately of the Democratic Congress - and never recovered because of that," he said. "It is a warning sign to the Obama administration that despite his significant electoral victory and popular victory, he still has to contend with powers that be in the Senate."

Reality Check? More like ego it seems we are moving to a "politician" or "Washington" class of leadership (lets call them Demoblicans since Republicrats is over used) in the united states and that bipartisanship or working together for the common good of our country(I hate the work bipartisanship personally since it has become a hollow word meaning "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" pork producing dealing and wheeling that benefits the scratchers but leaves us citizens out of the picture)doesn't seem to exist anymore. Governing philosophies in recent years is based more and more on what the individual politician's motives are and the status they seek and not on an overall philosophy or party affiliation philosophy as we, the public, can look be further and further removed from having a voice i the process, leading to corruption and separation from their constituents....we are at a very scary time in American political history here and we must do what we can to shrink the federal government, take back our political system so that it represents the masses, not those we vote into office, the most. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to be a politician and a leader, it takes a strong moral compass of doing what is right for all those you represent and following through to accomplish policies that benefits us all...So the political elite need to stop telling us how smart they are and start showing us that they are leaders.

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