Thursday, November 06, 2008


As I watch the political landscape, I noticed an article from the Washington Post titled "Obama Team Shifts to Transition Mode". But, the most interesting thing about this article wasn't what the Obama team is doing, but what the BUSH team is doing.

Now, remember that in January of 2001, the departing Clinton administration TRASHED the White House offices. I have heard first hand accounts (that is... I have talked to a person on the Bush Administration staff who was there on the very first day of his administration) that Clinton staffers broke things, and tore the "W" letter off most keyboards in the Executive Offices.

In contrast, take this citation from Bush:
In remarks delivered from the Rose Garden, the current occupant of the White House called Obama's election "uplifting."

"It will be a stirring sight to watch President Obama, his wife, Michelle, and their beautiful girls step through the doors of the White House," Bush said. "I know millions of Americans will be overcome with pride at this inspiring moment that so many have awaited so long. I know Senator Obama's beloved mother and grandparents would have been thrilled to watch the child they raised ascend the steps of the Capitol and take his oath to uphold the Constitution of the greatest nation on the face of the Earth." First lady Laura Bush also called Michelle Obama to offer her congratulations.

President Bush, for all his faults, is an amazingly gracious person. And, Laura Bush is just amazing. But, I just impressed by the different tone of this transition.

What about the bureaucracies? The article specifically discussed defense and intelligence agencies:

The Pentagon has begun a robust political transition effort, seeking to minimize disruptions during the first wartime presidential turnover in 40 years, senior Pentagon officials said.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates met with the senior Pentagon leadership and "charged everyone to make sure we don't drop the baton, and to be as collaborative and helpful as possible," Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said.

Pentagon officials have cleared office space with computers and phones for dozens of Obama transition team members, anticipating that as many as 50 aides will soon arrive and, in the words of one officer, "occupy the building."

Gates conducted an inventory of the roughly 250 political appointees at the Pentagon to see who would be willing to stay in their jobs if asked.

The Bush foreign policy team also moved quickly to try to ensure Obama a smooth transition. In a letter to CIA employees, Director Michael V. Hayden wrote that the agency has "two sets of consumers" -- the Bush administration and Obama.

"Through expanded access, greater than what he had in his briefings as a candidate or as a Senator, he will see the full range of capabilities we deploy for the United States," Hayden wrote to his staff. Those briefings will begin today when Obama receives a briefing from Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell.

McConnell said the president-elect's advisers probably will set up a temporary office at the DNI's headquarters. "We are prepared to brief the team on the [intelligence community's] capabilities as well as on significant intelligence issues," he said in a note sent late Tuesday to employees.

This doesn't sound like a bitter transfer of power to me. The State Department, and Condoleezza Rice (who is much-criticized by the liberals in this) is preparing too:

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice pledged yesterday that her agency will do "everything that we can, and I personally will do everything that we can -- that I can -- to make sure that this is a smooth transition."

The greatest accomplishment for any government or regime is a peaceful transfer of power. Throughout history, it has been the flash point for numerous wars, and the catalyst for death and hate and bitterness. But, in the United States of America, we do it peacefully.

At least, Bush seems ready to do it peacefully. Clinton's folks failed this test.

That is all.


1 comment:

Ethan said...

I've noticed a general lack of overall class from Democrats in defeat. Compare Kerry and Gore's defeats in the 2000 and 2004 elections and how they handled the loss with McCain's this past week.