Global: On Obama's Cabinet Choices

Two weeks since Barack Obama was elected president and a little less than eight weeks away from his inauguration, and world bloggers have commented on every move the he’s been making and every post he’s assigned.

From the Netherlands, Michael van der Galien writes that President-elect Obama seems to be moving towards the Center, rather staying on the Left.

“With about only 60 days left until inauguration day I am becoming increasingly hopeful that Barack Obama will govern like Bill Clinton did; as quite a centrist rather than a leftist Democrat.

Not only has Obama started to surround himself by (former) Clintonistas, which is a hopeful sign indeed, it seems likely that Hillary Clinton herself will become his Secretary of State.”

The Dutch blogger explains further, why Clinton would make a great choice for Secretary of State and comments on other moves the President-elect has made.

“Clinton is much more hawkish that Obama. She is a staunch supporter of Israel, supported the war in Iraq, and seems determined not to let Iran develop nuclear weapons. Obama seems a different kind of politician himself, but it is highly unlikely that Clinton would be willing to work for an administration which she would deem overly dovish.

Then there is Secretary of Defense Robert Gates; a true, old school Republican realist. President George W. Bush chose Gates as his SecDef after the horrendous and highly authoritarian Donald Rumsfeld resigned. Unlike his predecessor, Gates was able to communicate and work well with the State department, military leaders and foreign politicians such as Nouri al-Maliki. Gen. David Petraeus is often credited with turning the tide in Iraq but Gates’ role in the process should not be ignored; he too played a major role in bringing the different factions in the Middle Eastern country together.

As if that is not enough, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano (D) has been chosen to head the Department of Homeland Security. Napolitano is a Democrat, of course, but she does well with Independent and moderate voters. She is a hard worker and a pragmatist rather than an ideologue. When the illegal immigration problem became prominent Napolitano did not focus on the illegal immigrants themselves but on the institutions that allowed foreigners to move so easily into the U.S. illegally. Conservative immigration hawks may not like her too much, deeming her soft on illegal immigration, but the rest can certainly live with her.”

Meanwhile, Mary Newman in Palestine finds Hilary Clinton as a possibly becoming Secretary of State, “alarming.” Newman also quotes Harper’s Magazine Ken Silverstein on his five reasons why she wouldn’t be a good choice, including the Kissinger endorsement.

“of particular concern is point 5: who else endorses her? none other than the war criminal henry kissinger. to understand what i mean read christopher hitchens piece in harper’s called “the case against henry kissinger.” “

Newman ends her post with one suggestion for the soon-to-be-president.

“I think that obama should change his website from to”

And, in neighboring Canada, blogger Strong Conservative, comments on the Rahm Emanuel choice.

“Obama is off and running in his post-election plans. He's announced that Rahm Emanuel will be his chief of staff. Despite promises of transcending party lines and working across the aisle, Emanuel signals a decisively partisan start. But don't take my word, take Paul Begala’s statement about Emanuel being “cross between a hemorrhoid and a toothache.” Despite this tough side, Emanuel was also a ballet dancer. I'm not kidding.

That said, Emanuel is a tough partisan cookie, and he might be twinkle toes in the dance studio, but he's not afraid to fight it out in the political forum. The GOP will certainly have their hands full.”

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