November 19th, 2008
01:34 PM ET

Why Is Obama Picking Fmr. Clinton Admin. Members?


Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President-elect Barack Obama won the White House on a message of change. Fifty-three percent of Americans said they wanted something new and different in Washington. Well, Obama is certainly new and different, but the same cannot be said for some of his early appointments. It's like that song title, "Everything Old Is New Again."

As Obama prepares to take over, he's asking a bunch of former Clinton Administration members to come on board. John Podesta, who is overseeing the Obama transition team, is a former Clinton White House Chief of Staff. Rahm Emmanuel, who will serve as Obama's Chief of Staff, is a former Clinton aide. The president-elect's choice for Attorney General, Eric Holder, served in the Clinton administration as deputy attorney general under Janet Reno. And Peter Orszag, who has been picked to head Obama's Office of Management and Budget, worked at the Clinton White House as a special assistant to the president at the National Economic Council.

Watch: Cafferty: Former Clinton Admin?

And then, of course, there's Hillary. The former first lady and current junior senator from New York has been asked about the Secretary of State position. And if she gets the job, we get Bill back by association.

More than half of those named to Obama's transition or staff posts so far have ties to the Clinton administration

Here’s my question to you: What message is Barack Obama sending by surrounding himself with so many former members of the Clinton Administration?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Gia from Los Angeles, California writes:
I think the primary reason that Obama is picking a lot of “Clinton-ites” is that he wants people around him with quality experience, who know what they're doing and how the system works, so that they can effectively implement his vision for change. I think it also allays the fears of those people who didn't vote for Obama because they were concerned about his lack of experience.

Shane from Montreal, Quebec writes:
It's about picking smart and able people who know how government works. I'd like to see him pick Chuck Hagel and Colin Powell also. These are very smart and moderate Republicans who can help him. Obama knows what he's doing. I'm not worried.

Eileen from Peabody, Massachusetts writes:
I don't think President-elect Obama is sending any message yet. He is surrounding himself with former Clinton staffers for now, but his list of vacant positions is still enormously long. Let's take stock when a good number of cabinet positions are filled.

Steve from Green Bay, Wisconsin writes:
He's sending the message that he is "lipstick on a pig". It may have a shiny new face, but with the appointment of Hillary as Secretary of State, and all the other appointments, the Obama Presidency will merely be "The Clintons: Part 2", which will lead to Hillary winning in 2016, which will be "Clintons: Part 3". I couldn't be more disappointed in someone I truly believed to be "change.”

Steve from Hohenwald, Tennessee writes:
Well it sounds like he`s playing the safe bet. I was hoping he would be a little more daring than that. I would like to go in a brave, new direction.

George writes:
If you don't remember how well the country was doing when Bill Clinton was President, then you need a refresher course in how a government is supposed to be run instead of what the Bushies have done to it. Bill Clinton had some of the smartest people in the country in his administration, and they would be a great asset to Obama once he becomes President.

Filed under: Barack Obama • Transition 2008
soundoff (281 Responses)
  1. Mike - Hot Springs, Arkansas

    Hey, it is siimple. check out who is available and pick the best. So far he is doing just that.

    November 19, 2008 at 1:35 pm |
  2. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    Who knows?
    Perhaps he's seeking experienced individuals–who are accustomed to working in a more moderate administration–which would be consistent with the kind of administration he has said he wants to run. All selections so far–are not afraid of challenging convention–which will be necessary in a progressive administration focused on multi-party supported change.

    November 19, 2008 at 1:37 pm |
  3. Mike, Cleveland, Ohio

    I think we should with hold judgement until we see what this administration can do. After all people forget that Bill Clinton left office with a 60% approval rating and I know George W. Bush would do just about anything to get even HALF of that approval rating.

    November 19, 2008 at 1:38 pm |
  4. Domenic from Montreal, Canada

    The message Barak Obama is sending is that he is putting in place a well respected and professional team. Unlike the thugs Bush put on his team when he first formed his team.

    November 19, 2008 at 1:38 pm |
  5. Rose in Az

    He wants to be another Bill Clinton, he thinks he can do what Clinton did but I think the single most thing that helped Clinton improve our economy was all of the dot.com companies during his administration. Also, Clinton promised to cut taxes like Obama and after he was elected he raised taxes, Obama will do the same thing, you can bet on it.

    November 19, 2008 at 1:39 pm |
  6. Mike S.,New Orleans

    I think the message Obama is sending is that he is only considering qualified candidates with a proven track record of success. It is a major change from appointing your father's cronies and your frat buddies.

    November 19, 2008 at 1:39 pm |
  7. Myra Becnel

    The change is in his policies and how him implements these, so he is picking the very best of the best there is to do just that, KUDOS!

    Myra Benel
    Kaneohe, Hawaii

    November 19, 2008 at 1:39 pm |
  8. Conor in Chicago

    He can't just stock his cabinet with the "best and the brightest" like Kennedy did. In order for his government to work he will need to pick established members of the Democratic party that people have some familiarity with. Since Clinton was the last Dem President his choices are limited.

    November 19, 2008 at 1:39 pm |
  9. Jane (Minnesota)

    That Clinton's people being chosen knew what they were doing. You don't hear much talk about adding many people from the Current Administration. I believe Mr. Obama is looking for qualified people to fill the slots.

    November 19, 2008 at 1:40 pm |
  10. Mark in OKC

    Obama is picking former Clinton Admin. people because he has NO experience doing ANYTHING and he wants to surround himself with people who know how to run a country.....something we elected HIM to do, not old Clinton Cronies. When Obama said "Yes, We Can" he meant, "Yes, the Clintons can."

    November 19, 2008 at 1:40 pm |
  11. Happy in Arizona

    Jack, of all the dummies we have in Congress, who else could he have picked. At least during Clinton 's time everything was better in this country. Certainly, there is no one in the Republican party qualified to do anything good–during Bush 41, we were in debt, now with Jr. Bush, we are trillions in debt so much for the Republicans.

    November 19, 2008 at 1:41 pm |
  12. Frank from WV

    Life, ecomony and world respect was good under the Clinton Admin. Bush broke it all. Let's try something that worked instead of reinventing ways to squander what we have left of the ecomony and world respect

    November 19, 2008 at 1:42 pm |
  13. Mary from Houston, tx

    Hi Jack, Perhaps the message of the Obama adminstration is to choose the last EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION that was the Clinton Administration.
    Leave bush/cheney in their bunker.

    November 19, 2008 at 1:42 pm |
  14. Daniel Ambrose

    Jack –

    Clearly because they are credible and qualified to be appointed under his administration.

    Atlanta, GA

    November 19, 2008 at 1:43 pm |
  15. Demetrius

    He's picking them because he is not stupid. He knows he must
    govern from the middle. He is also thinking ahead to 2012

    November 19, 2008 at 1:43 pm |
  16. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    despite what some Obama supporters are upset about I believe this shows President Elect Obama is going to hit the floor with full speed. By picking experienced people who would follow his lead and his ideals it will allow him to get us back on the right track quicker because of the experience and the respect these people have earned in Washington. Non-experienced people would not be able to talk with the others in Washington as easily as the more experienced people can.

    November 19, 2008 at 1:45 pm |
  17. Judy, Exeter, Calif,

    He is picking these people because they are among the best and the brightest . They know the ropes when it comes to the Whitehouse because they've been there before. Clinton some great people working for him, and right now Obama has the intelligence to recognize those who can help serve his administration and the country the best. I believe experience will be key in his selections. The notion that somehow this will not represent change is political nonsense.

    November 19, 2008 at 1:46 pm |
  18. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    The message I get is that he recognizes that the secret to Clinton’s success was sound, intelligent policies formulated by competent practitioners. It’s only logical that you would want to fix the damage done by Bush with the same people who fixed the damage done by the other Bush.

    November 19, 2008 at 1:46 pm |
  19. mel from ohio

    If Obama's intent is to pick those with experience and expertise, then he HAS to pick those who worked with Clinton as the last Democratic President. Otherwise he would have to go back to Carter's guys and I think they're a little "long in the tooth" to serve today! The change will come with HOW these people are used to carry out Obama's directives and those that are of concern to the American people.... right now.

    November 19, 2008 at 1:46 pm |
  20. lee in tn

    maybe,just maybe, they can get us out of such a mess. They balanced the budget before. Maybe they can sing the song "We did it before and we will do it again".

    November 19, 2008 at 1:46 pm |
  21. Karen McCullough

    The Clinton Administration was run by a smart, efficient staff. The economy was good, our country was held in high esteem by most of the world, and most Americans felt good about their futures. What better place to look for experienced capable people!

    November 19, 2008 at 1:46 pm |
  22. JD in NH

    What's wrong with people from the Clinton administration? As I recall, that was a period of peace and prosperity. President Obama wants to hit the ground running and having a few old hands on deck is not a bad thing.

    November 19, 2008 at 1:47 pm |
  23. KarenB, Florida

    Obama can make good speeches, and vote present, so he needs someone in there that can do more than that. Even if it is from the Clinton administration. They covered for one, they can do it for another.

    November 19, 2008 at 1:47 pm |
  24. Dave from Orlando

    The best antidote for incompetence is competence. All these choices so far have proven track records.

    November 19, 2008 at 1:47 pm |
  25. Robert W. Brooks


    He is sending a clear message that he wants to surround himself with experienced individuals who know their way around Washington. When Jimmy Carter came into the presidency he surrounded himself with his Atlanta, Georgia friends who were unfamiliar with the interworking within the Washington Beltway. Obama is trying to avoid a lot of the pitfalls that plagued the Carter presidency. Knowlege is power.

    Forest, VA

    November 19, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  26. Jenny Rome Ga

    I think the man is picking the best people for the jobs. When Carter came to WAshington he had I believe almost a whole administration that he brought with him. Noone was an insider. It was a disaster. These guys know the rules of the road and how to get things accomplished. With the exception of Daschel as Sec of Health and Human Services, I think Obama has made solid choices. I still think that HHS was Hillary best spot but I am sure Daschel will be fine as well.

    November 19, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  27. Cynthia

    Jack, I would say that President Elect Obama is a smart man and didn't get this far by not doing his homework before making the decisons that he has made thus far.

    November 19, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  28. Cindy, CA

    Perhaps the Clinton administration is the most recent and viable template of intelligent leadership, a surplus economy, and favorable relationships with foreign countries.

    November 19, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  29. George

    Just in case you don't remember how well the country was doing when Bill Clinton was President then you need a refresher course in how a government is supposed to be run instead of what the Bushies have done to it. Bill Clinton had some of the smartest people in the country in his administration, and they would be a great asset to Obama once he becomes President, and a great asset for our country to get us back on our feet. We have been staggering around in a daze for 8 years trying to figure out how to get out of the mess that the Bushies have made, not only for our country, but others also. I look forward to celebrating Thanksgiving this year because we have something to celebrate, and be thankful for. I will celebrate the holidays as I have never celebrated them before. There will be fewer gifts, but greater expectations that a new year will bring, and then comes the time that most of us have been waiting for, and that is the swearing in of our new President. We should all take comfort in that, as a new era begins, Democrats, and Republicans, and Independents alike have something to look forward too.

    November 19, 2008 at 1:51 pm |
  30. Jane M

    I've been thinking about this question alot recently. I think Obama is choosing former Clinton folks simply because they are Democrats who didn't go away because of the lousy Bush Administration has been in office TOO LONG – . I personally think they are the best and the brightest out there!

    November 19, 2008 at 1:51 pm |
  31. Ingrid, new york

    Obama is not making the same mistake Jimmy Carter made, he brought a whole bunch of people with him who did not know washington. clinton's people have run through the gauntlet of washington, they know how it works and to work it. he needs experience as well as a like-minded fellowship.

    November 19, 2008 at 1:51 pm |
  32. Rob , NYC

    unlike the idiots like Condi Rice-that Bush hired, Obama is hiring the best.

    November 19, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  33. Howard M. Bolingbrook IL

    I think Obama is selecting so many former Clinton Admin. staffers is because in a quest to get some experience in the up coming Democratic administration the former Clinton staffers are the only one's still around.

    Additionally, the country did quite well under Bill Clinton's administration, so why not at least try some form of that model.

    November 19, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  34. Lil from TN

    Jack, we have to face the fact that there are only so many people who have ties to the Democratic party who also know how to get things done. Bill Clinton had a competent team overall and I don't think there is anything wrong with choosing people who have proven themselves previously in another administration. I think the message of "change" comes from the President-elect and his policies. It's not a message of necessarily having to choose outsiders or newcomers, in my opinion.

    November 19, 2008 at 1:53 pm |
  35. Bill, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    I am not sure he is sending any message. I think he is choosing people who he feels are best qualified and just happen to have been in the Clinton administration. Just be glad he is not picking any Bush advisers other then considering asking the current secretary of defense to stay on.

    November 19, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  36. C from Georgia

    Track records instill confidence in the government – even if you don't like the appointee, they are a known quantity – did it before, will do it again. Confidence in the government solving the economic and foreign policy mess we are in translates to people being willing to take a chance and buy something other than just the basic groceries for that week. If enough of us "feel good" about the way Obama is leading, we'll be willing to take some minor risks – like buy more than groceries, buy a car to replace the one that is costing a fortune at the mechanic, put money into the banks instead of under the mattress...

    And so it goes...

    November 19, 2008 at 1:55 pm |
  37. Barb New Port Richey Fl

    It says simply that he has learned from the last 8 years of mistakes. Ignorance breeds ignorance; let the cycle be broken finaly.

    November 19, 2008 at 1:55 pm |
  38. Jo-Jo from MD


    This is easy. The last time I checked my memory, the Clinton administration did a pretty solid job keeping our economy on track prior to the last 8 years. No wonder this was a no brainer decision for the president elect. He chose the people who actually have some smarts when it comes to our economy.

    Jo-Jo from MD

    November 19, 2008 at 1:56 pm |
  39. Dennis North Carolina

    With the country and the world in bad shape, you need people who will fill the position in the best way,

    November 19, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  40. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    They've already been trained, and learned from the mistakes they might have made many years ago. We need the most highly qualified, and I believe that's what President-elect Obama is choosing.

    November 19, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  41. Willow, Iowa

    Some of his advisors, like Valerie Jarrett, came with him. I believe he is melding his good people from the campaigns with the Washington people that know how to get things done. they need to get things done the way Obama wants, with his oversight. but they need to be able to get it done.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  42. Bev, Los Angeles

    That he's smart to pick experienced folks. Don't forget, a lot of these ex-Clinton folks were for Obama from the beginning.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  43. Jack Carlson

    Obama knows he's unqualified and so he has to rely on the Clinton's past decisions. He won't last 3 yrs.
    Jack Carlson
    Seattle WA

    November 19, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  44. Myrtle, AL

    Because the Clinton era economy was the best, Jack.

    Translation: You don't miss your water till your well runs dry.

    love Myrtle

    November 19, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  45. David, Tampa, Fl

    Patronage begins with good people from one's party and goes out from there. They have been in politics for some time and have a certain expertise in applicable areas. Unlike the hacks from the current administration, they will probably do good jobs in service to Obama and hopefully, and more importantly, to the American people.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  46. Terry from North Carolina

    You go forward and pick the best people available. If the choices he has made so far represent the best, so be it. Lets not make more out of this than it is.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  47. Linda in Florida

    He wants to pick from the best around and so far those happen to be people from former President Clinton's staff.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  48. douglas gengler

    it means that befor our new president makes a decision (that will have a great impact on this country) he will have the best minds around him to come up with the best solution compared to bush and the nominds he has had in coming up with all of the wrong ideas.

    doug in knoxville arkansas

    November 19, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  49. John in Arizona

    Jack, some eybrows have been raised by all the familiar faces in the new administration, one that was supposed to represent change. Change will only happen if things get done, spearheaded by experienced legislative leaders, not by mere cosmetic changes in the "look" of the administration. Clearly Obama's goal is to surround himself with the most qualified team members who will actually be able to make change happen.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  50. Liz in Towson, MD

    All he's doing is picking people who are experienced and will do a good job–is that a crime? Several talking heads apparently think that picking former Clinton administration members is the opposite of the "change" Obama promised, but what they don't seem to realize is that we really only need a "change" from the last 8 years, not necessarily a "change" from the relatively good way things were going before W entered our lives.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  51. Craig, Mission Viejo, CA`

    It is only natural those being considered for cabinet posts would have some ties to Clinton after his eight years office. Given that, it certainly should make us feel happy John McCain did not win. Can you imagine him trying to fill a cabinet from the remnants of the GOP? The Bush administration burned through a lot of human capital in its eight years of lousy management, and that was a weak gene pool to begin with. Seems either way you'd end up with a lot of Clintonians.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  52. Ken in Seattle

    His message is that he wants his administration to be able to hit the ground running the day he takes possession of the Oval Office. Given the messes the new administration will have to grapple with there will be no time for these folks to become acquainted with the Byzantine workings of Washington, they will have to know from day one. The only Democrats with on job experience running the country got it during the Clinton Administration. Barak Obama will set the tone and determine courses of action and these folks will either march in lock step with him or they will be gone. My guess is they will know and accept that before agreeing to join the administration.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  53. Kay in WV

    Because apparently he realizes that experience matters...

    for everyone except himself, of course.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  54. John in Arizona

    Jack, some eybrows have been raised by all the familiar faces in the new administration, one that was supposed to represent change. Change will only happen if things get done, spearheaded by experienced legislative leaders, not by mere cosmetic changes in the "look" of the administration. Clearly Obama's goal is to surround himself with the most qualified team members who will actually be able to make change happen.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  55. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    The Clinton people are the only measure of experience, judgment, and performance from a Democrat perspective. The Clinton eight years allowed the cream to rise to the top and Obama is taking advantage of that.

    Though I believe in the end when the total Clinton people are compared to the total appointments it will be a small percentage.

    The message it sends to me is that we are returning to intelligence, common sense, and a striving for balance in that these more experienced people can guide and mentor the newer people who will eventually rise to the top.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  56. vern-t anaheim,ca

    president-elect obama is picking many members of former president bill clintons administration because those people were sucessful in their jobs and he is looking for the most expierenced and qualified people to help tun the country

    November 19, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  57. Gigi in Alabama

    Who knows? . . . maybe they are the most qualified individuals. He wants people he can work with and not be lackies that will just be yes men.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  58. Kel in Auburn, AL

    You folks are really overanalyzing this one. President-Elect Obama is picking people that can get the job done. When it comes to governing – that’s all that matters. Who cares where they came from?

    They could be Martians for all I care, but if they can manage to not mess the country up worse than Bush 43 did, then we’ll all be better off by 2012.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  59. Jolly Potter, NY

    Well. after 8 appalling years of missteps and mismanagement by Bush its about time someone took Experience and Qualifications into account. Plus they are all well rested and have been vetted before...and still relatively young enough too..so it makes sense to kick start his Presidency with some tried and trusted folks on both sides of the aisle. Will it work ? Watch this space.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:12 pm |

    He wants people with good experience and knowledge in his team.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  61. Katiec Pekin, IL

    I have complete faith in Barack Obama picking the best qualified for the job. And, since the Clinton years were good for our country,
    why not pick people with this experience and good qualifications?
    I have no qualms about who they were affiliated with, unless it
    would be Bush. He, his staff and the republicans have done
    humongous damage to our country.
    What in the world kind of message would it be in he chose
    inexperienced, unqualified people for the sake of so called change?
    He is and will do what is best for our country.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  62. Tyne from Boulder, Colorado

    The people wanted change, this is true. But we didn't just want any change, we wanted change from stupidity and irresponsibility. Obama is chosing to surround himself with smart and capable people. After 8 years of an embarrassing administration, Obama's bringing change through intelligence and responsibility. In other words: there's nothing wrong with chosing Clinton people if it's going to create a strong administration.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  63. Marieth, Chicago

    I was concerned about the change them and the Clinton people coming on board. They are the best of the bunch, and the change comes from leadership, now only names and faces.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  64. PC from Atlanta

    I don't know why everyone is crowing about why Obama's staff doesn't represent change because they served in the Clinton White House (the most current and successful Democratic administration I might add). Any new bodies that will replace the Bush/Cheney cronies would represent big change in my mind.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  65. David in Granville, Ohio

    Jack it's simple.

    Obama is chosing the best available talent for each position. It is clear that he will be a great manager as well as the most visionary leader the world has seen for a very long time.

    "It is better to be lucky than good" they say in sports. Obama is both.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  66. sue

    Basically, we are getting 8 more years of the Clintons. That's change??? I suspect a deal somewhere, somehow. Obama was elected to lead, and it seems he mislead a lot of people. me included.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  67. Connie from "BLUE" Indiana

    Jack, I don't care who he picks as long as they are not related to the Bush's or Cheney's , thats change we can believe in.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  68. Kerry Diehl

    No surprises.....

    So much for the promises of real "Change" as to how things are done in Washington.

    Republicans or Democrats, it's the same old shenanigans, different name on the main door, but still the same old gunless-gangster type of crooks.


    November 19, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  69. Joe, Yankee Lake, N.Y.

    This is just his way of saying "This is Change we can Beleive in"

    November 19, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  70. Mertis


    A smart person with common sense should be surrounded by other smart people with common sense. Rich or poor, Democrat, Republican or Independent, Black, White, Hispanic, etc. Just get the best people working on these huge problems we have and keep it moving...

    Mertis in Atlanta

    November 19, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  71. Jerry,OK

    Jack, It probably means, Obama not only read books on LIncoln, and Roosevelt, but also perused through the Clinton presidency.

    Jerry Tulsa/OK

    November 19, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  72. Jay-San Antonio

    Ultimately the point is to hit the ground running. Pick the most qualified people available that can move ahead on agenda and are ready day one. If we were not in such a crisis mode, two wars, brink of depression, possible terrorist attack, and no more money, then maybe you get the people that are good but need a few months to figure out what they are doing. However, in our current crisis you get the best field captains available.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  73. Jackie in Dallas

    President Elect Obama will be damned no matter what he does. Picking experienced people from Clinton's administration makes sense, but will be condemned as "no change". Picking newcomers, he will be condemned because they are inexperienced. What many seem to forget is that the Change proposed by Obama during his campaign was in political direction, policies and procedures, not necessarily personnel. I think when he is finished making his selections, we will see a diversity of people, gender-wise, racially-wise, political party-wise, and Washington experience-wise. One thing I'm glad of is that he is picking people with minds of their own who will not just be "yes" people to everything.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  74. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    I know you weren't born yesterday Jack but to me this is why, Obama and the Clintons cut a deal before the convention that Hillary and Bill would not broker the convention if Obama signed a promise in blood of course that he would hire at least half of the their friends since they (The Clintons) still owe these people. Politics is perception and peoples perception of his decisions so far is not changing Washington.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  75. Stevo

    Jack, he needs people who can hit the ground running. There is much work to do and no time for trainning wheels, let's go right now !!!!

    November 19, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  76. Jack in DC

    It represents more of the same. President-elect Obama gave us so much hope that things would be different this time around, yet he's picking from the same brain-pool that has been in Washington for the past 2 decades. I refuse to believe that out of ~ 300 million Americans, Obama could not find 50 new faces to head various branches of the administration. These politicians are all the same, they look out for their friends and will keep recycling the administrations for many years to come.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  77. Adem Jemal, California

    Hey Jack,

    Change for leadership, not replacing expereinced and qualified candidates with new comers. Obama is a smart guy he always focuses on productive results. His ultimate gole is to fix our country by any means and that's what Americans are looking for.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  78. John, Fort Collins, CO

    Like the Clintons, Barack Obama probably wants to surround himself with the best and brightest people available. And, of course, prior experience is a real plus. However, unlike the Clintons, he needs to be very thorough in the vetting process to avoid having a scandal-of-the-week crew like they had.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  79. Ralph, Corpus Christi

    The message is like the old saying: if you want to fly like an eagle, don't surrouind yourself with ducks. in particular, lame ones like Bush and his administration. So, I look forward to our country flying like an eagle again under Obama's team and leadership.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  80. Mari Fernandez, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Choosing from among the best and brightest our nation has to offer is a wise move for President-elect Obama. Some critics say that this is not CHANGE, I beg to differ. Change doesn't mean that you throw all of the "old" out, whether it be ideas, programs or people. The change that President-elect Obama refers to is A CHANGE IN HOW Washington is run, how it does business, how it rules, how it deals with crisis, foreign policy etc., Choosing the best and brightest for his Cabinet, is a sign of wisdom. Obame has proven to us, over and over, that he is a gracious and wise leader. I trust his judgement.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  81. mac from traverse city Michigan

    I think the message here Jack is that president elect Obama is not beholden to anybody, not even the far left when it comes to his cabinet picks. So far he seems to be choosing people who bring the experience into his administration that he personally lacks and the fact they were part of the Clinton team means nothing to me. Barack Obama is the new sheriff in town and these people will be bringing their vast experience to implement his vision . They will be ready to go on day one because they do not need any learning curve to negotiate the pitfalls of the beltway.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  82. Kyle- DuPont, WA

    The message is that change is hard to come by. Hiring talented personnel with a knowledge of the internal workings of the beltway is critical to push the new president's agenda through the quagmire that we know as the federal government. However, he is sending the wrong signal by appointing so many beltway bandits from the Clinton Administration. I would recommend to the President-elect that in order to affect real change he needs to appoint a few strong-minded outsiders into key leadership positons so that they can change the system and not be swallowed by.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  83. Joan, Ontario

    His campaign was based on change of policy. He's the one who is in charge of that but he's smart enough to know that he can't run his government with people who don't have the knowledge and experience to be able to handle their jobs. He seems to be deliberately picking people who have a keen interest and success in their fields. If that means some from the Clinton years, then so be it. Instead of people criticizing his picks, why don't you let him form his government and see how they do? He has been left a horrible mess to try and clean up and it is totally ridiculous to hear Republicans criticize anything he does when they are totally responsible for the economical, security and environmental problems facing the country. They should just be quiet because they didn't do anything to solve the problems when they were in power and everyone knows it.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  84. me46

    It is apparent that Obama is trying to build a coalition of loyal followers, established bureaucrats, opposion leaders, and hopefully, expert advisors. This indicates that he plans to govern form the center when it comes to tackling the problems facing the country. It may have worked for Bill Clinton, but conditions are vastly different today and the urgency of the economic crisis just might interfere with his plan to build a coalition government.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  85. Mickie

    Are his picks so far better than Harriet Myers - YOU BETCHA!

    November 19, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  86. Michael watching from Canada


    Under difficult times, it is critical that Obama's staff have the experience necessary to hit the ground running. What other Democrat administration does Obama have to choose from? More importantly, shouldn't we judge these new hires on their ability to adapt to the new leadership and adhere to new policies to be set forth by the next President?

    November 19, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  87. Michael watching from Canada


    Under difficult times, it is critical that Obama's staff have the experience necessary to hit the ground running. What other Democrat administration does Obama have to choose from? More importantly, shouldn't we judge these new hires on their ability to adapt to the new leadership and adhere to new policies to be set forth by the next President?

    November 19, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  88. Gina in Racine, Wi


    Obama is putting together the Best of the Best. \

    I don't know why everyone is so upset that alot of his picks are former Clinton people. If I remember correctly.....Bill Clinton's era was the land of milk and honey, compared to the last 7 1/2 years.

    Everyone should just keep the faith. We have stood behind this guy during his Campaign and voted for him.....and I truly believe we made the right choice.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  89. Nelson

    Because all of the soon to be former Bush Administration members will be going to jail once W is out of office and the corruption trials start. Then there's that international tribunal thing about the Iraq war. That may prevent a few from showing up at work at 8 a.m. too.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  90. Joe

    Certainly you don't think he is going to pick ALL Republicans !!

    They have ruined this country for the last 8 years !!


    November 19, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  91. Doreen, Cornelia Georgia

    We all know he promised "change" and with nothing but past Clinton Admistration some people will say its just "more of the same". However, with everything that's wrong, broken, and in disarray, he needs experienced people at the moment. Now, for any post available under the top dogs, it would be nice if he had some new blood – people who haven't been in Washington forever, people who have been tossed and turned by the government and life. if he wants change of any kind – get it on track with experience – keep on track with reality!

    Cornelia, Georgia

    November 19, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  92. Steve of Hohenwald TN.

    Well it sounds like he`s playing the safe bet. I was hopeing he would be a little more dareing than that. I would like to go in a brave, new direction.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  93. Shane from Montreal

    It's about picking smart and able people who know how Government works! That's leaves out 99% of Republicans LOL

    I'd like to see him pick Chuck Hagel & Colin Powell also. These are very smart & moderate Republicans who can help him

    Obama knows what he's doing. I'm not worried

    November 19, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  94. Tina (Ft Worth)

    Bill Clinton had the economy roaring while George Bush has killed the flame and maybe bringing back all the Clinton people the country will go back in the right direction.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  95. Randy in New York

    Bill Clinton was in office for 8 years. Barack Obama is merely picking the most qualified people which is good enough for me. Add a few new faces and a few Republicans and you have a nice mixture.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  96. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Jack, given he has no experience, he needs someone to tell him what to do. If not Clintonites you'd have to go clear back to Carter to get any Dems with governing experience, and half of them are dead.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  97. andrea from foxborough, MA

    the message is obama feels these people will do an honorable job for the people !!!!!!!!!!!

    November 19, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  98. Michael from Greenfield, Wi.

    That despite Presidents Clinton's mistakes, his people knew what they were doing, and they now know their way around the beltway. He is sending the message that in order for him to expedite his agenda he needs people that know how to get it done.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  99. kenneth sibbett

    Jack, where do you suggest he look.Bush 41, 4 years. Clinton, 8 years. Bush, 8 years. If you can find anyone in politics that doesn't have at least a passing knowledge of these three presidents, I'd love to see the resume.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  100. Sandra -- Oklahoma

    It seems obvious to me. It has been so long since we have had a Democrat in the WH that you don't have a lot of experienced people to choose from. If you want to get right down to business first crack out of the box in stead of spending your first few months in office training unskilled workers, you hire those who already know what to do and how things are supposed to work.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  101. David P. Vernon

    Tucson, AZ – there are three places to get people to perform high level White House staff jobs – former Republican Administrations, former Democratic Administrations, and other institutions outside the US Government. utside the system. The US government is peculiar, and works like no other institution in the US, so people brought into the White House from elsewhere usually need a lot of time to learn the job and often make big procedural mistakes. People from the opposition Party are nominally motivated to make the Administration fail so that their Party wins the next election. The only place to get experienced senior government officials who are motivated for the present Administration to succeed is from previous Administrations of your own Party.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  102. Mary from Houston, tx

    Perhaps President-elect Obama doesn't look into the eyes of the person to determine their qualifications.
    bush/cheney the worst administration in our country's history.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  103. Gary H. Johnson, Jr.

    The man has a few political debts to pay. Don't worry, he'll fire them as he achieves his aims and they outlast their purpose. Get ready for the blame Bush rhetoric to ramp up for the next two years as this team does nothing about the deficit as they line their pockets. The cool part about the steal from the rich to give to the poor mentality...is that a billion here and a billion there get misappropriated...but heck you gotta crack a few eggs to make an omelet, right?

    November 19, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  104. Annie Florida

    Brains beat change when experience counts.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  105. Greg in Cabot AR

    It sure beats surrounding himself with former high school class mates and campaign contributors.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  106. carol in Oregon

    I wouldn't vote for Sen Obama because of his lack of experience. Maybe he saw what he got himself into and decided he'd better hook up with the Clinton's. Thats what happens when you get to cocky "you end up having to eat crow" or working with your enemy. At least he is trying to find the best the Dems have to offer. But I would like to know what happened to CHANGE and why Sen Obama is choosing the Clinton staffers which he campaigned against in the primaries.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  107. nora CC TXAS

    They are tried and tested. I would think loyal and intelligent also, I think PE Obama is surrounding himself with the best, that is all that really counts.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  108. Mary - California

    is it all of the Clinton people that is upsetting everybody.......or is it the idea the Hillary might get Secretary of State, which she is qualified in doing? And I hope she gets this position – Richardson sure doesn't have her "know-how"!

    November 19, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  109. April in Hoboken, NJ

    I wondered this too Jack. But really, outside of some Democrat Governors and Senators, it's tough to find someone that didn't work for the Clinton Administration.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  110. Shannon Wadding, St. Paul, MN

    Obama is looking for Democrat leaders, plain and simple. However, what message is Obama potraying when we are going into the past rather than searching to change to future. I'm puzzled with Obama's cabinet choices since the two party system cannot get anything done or commit to progress in the last 40 years.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  111. Tony from Missouri

    One word Jack, ...EXPERIENCE! And I apologize that we're still counting votes in Missouri!!!

    November 19, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  112. Pete, Fla.

    After surprising even himself when he beat Hillary, Obama is now realizing that the Clintons do seem to know how to play the political game, and although they get a lot of trash from the media, the former First Family is very savvy when it comes to setting up an efficient Cabinet.

    November 19, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  113. Donna from Wisconsin

    Why not stick with what is known to work. Change is great if it is not working (Bush for example), but we need to fix things now!!

    November 19, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  114. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    It's too soon to tell if it is a good idea driving this governmental monster truck on re-treads. I have doubts. The Obama transition team is already trying to plug the leaks.

    November 19, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  115. Bruce St Paul MN

    It means Jimmy Carter's people are too old.

    November 19, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  116. Tolu - Chicago, IL

    Because that is the sensible thing to do, Jack.

    Obama's message of Change was about ideology and policies, but not necessarily personnel. If change was only about personnel, then Sarah Palin would have been the best choice, with absolutely no national experience.

    I think America has forgotten that regardless of who gets hired, Obama is still the boss. So, it is helpful to have experienced people doing the boss' wish.

    Where I am from, we call that 'having your cake and eating it.'

    November 19, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  117. Karen - Nashville

    The Clintons are far from perfect, but they have always surrounded themselves with the brightest. Hopefully Barack Obama can pick off those with the best credentials and character.

    November 19, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  118. Marge in New Port Richey, Florida

    They're the most qualified Democrats around. Since Bush and Republican company have occupied the last 8 years, Obama really has little choice but to reach back prior to that which brings him to Clinton's people because he occupied the previous 8 years. That covers anyone who's been a star in politics in almost the last 20 years. Plus the economy was booming under Clinton who also unbelievably had a surplus...it's hard to even imagine. Hopefully we'll all soon be singing "Happy days are here again..."

    November 19, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  119. Cori from Colorado

    They're people who have common sense.

    November 19, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  120. Kristin Barnes

    I don't know what message he is trying to send, but I know that I had a lot more money when these people were working for Clinton. Good experience, great results, they would be my first choice too. It kills me though that for a year we had McCainiacs and the repubs constantly yapping that Obama had no experience and couldn't do the job and now theyare griping that he is using experienced Clinton staffers. Can't make some people happy I guess...
    Texas City, TX

    November 19, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  121. Linda in Bisbee, AZ

    Who is he supposed to surround himself with? They have experience, and they're Democrats. He could go out and recruit from passersby I suppose.

    November 19, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  122. Kevin, Chester Springs PA

    Obama wants to hit the ground running with experienced people who know how to get things done. When both Clinton and Carter took office, they decided to bring in their non-Washington type cronies. The results? It was a mess with nothing getting done for the first couple of years. Obama is just being smart and pragmatic. Change is not about the faces within his White House staff and in his cabinet. Change will be about the policies and practices Obama will implement through his leadership. The old Clintonistas will be quickly converted — and remembered for — being the new Obamamites.

    November 19, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  123. Molly B

    Molly B – Tama, IA

    Message?? That he is bring highly qualified people from a success-
    ful administration into a "situation" that sorely needs just such

    November 19, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  124. Thomas AbileneTx

    Unlike some who are grumbling about the new Admin. not keeping the promise for "change", I think these are big changes from the Bush Admin. back to capable ,smart people-you know like in the Clinton years of peace and prosperity.

    November 19, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  125. Jim/NC

    Picking former Clintonites sends the wrong message. Reasonable thinking Americans is beginning to doubt the promises Obama made.
    Obama's picks show the inexperience that he has and the poor judgement that was questioned with regard to his associations with bad people. Americans recognize that Obama needs help, but this is change that we cannot believe in!

    November 19, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  126. Mickey

    He promised CHANGE not a whole bunch of new faces. He is surrounding himself with smart, knowledgeable people who won't have the steep learning curve a unknown would have. These people will be able to formulate AND implement change. New faces for the sake of new faces doesn't make sense. Do you really want a whole new team of people with no idea who is who in Washington at this critical time???

    November 19, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  127. Jackie - Canada

    The problem is – whoever he chooses would be a problem. If he chooses inexperience people – they will complain. If he chooses experience people – they will complain. What is he supposed to do when the crisis is so bad in every aspect. As one reported stated, change is about policy not people. If he doesn't change the policies of Washington, then we can get on him. But it's better to have experience people to deal with the economy, the war and all the issues that fact the nation. People stop complaining and give him a chance.

    November 19, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  128. Unshrub

    Change only comes from one person. The one on top. It is everyone else's job to be able to make that change, and that is why he needs to have experience. I would guess most of those who are complaining about who Obama picks are those who didn't vote for him in the first place. This is just another change for them to cry about loosing.

    November 19, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  129. Richie from Wisconsin

    He's picking individuals who are fit for the job. That's what's important. But most of all, one should remember that there are thousands of other opportunities for Obama to nominate "new" people or conservative people. We've only heard a handful. I wouldn't be surprised if he finds a place for Chuck Hagel or Dick Lugar in his cabinet, or both, perhaps.

    November 19, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  130. chris from STL

    I don't care whom he brings it! I want Obama get going and provide some leadership. The current administration is utterly incompetent, and arrogant, and is responsible for tremendous destruction of wealth in this country. Get these bastards out first.

    I just want some body to come out and say ... yes, things will be better, and I will do any thing and everything to get the economy back to normal. Mr. Obama, please come out and do something, ELSE there will be massive public revolt!!!! We just can't take it any more. Just today, my 401K lost over 20K ....

    November 19, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  131. Laura, Boston

    President Elect Obama spoke of "Change". The people are not change so it has to be the policy that will be change.

    If that doesn't change than we have all been hoodwicked.

    November 19, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  132. Brian Miami, FL

    Easy – because they are both experienced and were part of the last successful administration.

    Obama can mandate "change" by his own policies; but there is no substitiute for experience, and Obama need experienced advisors.

    November 19, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  133. Bill from MI

    The Clinton Administration was very successful because he had the best and brightest and Barack Obama is working hard at having a very successful Administration. I believe the only thing that can train wreck him from having one, is Republican Filibusters in the Senate. Let's face it, there are too many old southern Ideologues still around that just do not want change and they need to go or get out of the way.

    November 19, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  134. Hafeezah(Utah)

    Where else will he find the brains, plus President elect Obama he is so brilliant. The average person is one step ahead when he is 4 years ahead. He knows 4 years come around fast. With all the best possible contenders in his adminstration(Biden, Clinton), no one that matters will be left to debate him for the democratic nomination. They will be to loyal by then. Now he needs find a place for Mitt Romney and Huckabee in his cabinet and you know he is guranteed another 4 years.

    November 19, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  135. Richie, Hillsboro, Oregon

    Some are saying that somehow choosing folks from the Clinton administration can not mean CHANGE. I don't get that. If you want to build a house, a new kind, different from your neighbors, you still hire an experienced contractor, who has built lots of normal old houses. Then you tell her to build your new design and she does, because she knows how to build houses. CHANGE is about different policies, not inexperienced people.

    November 19, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  136. Greg

    It means he doesn't have a clue about what he is doing! Why do you think the market is going south, the smart in this world who did not vote for him are getting scared to death!

    November 19, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  137. Anthony Smith

    The message he is sending is that he needs experience! Also, facts are facts! Look at this country with 8 years of Bush. Look at the country with 8 years of Bill Clinton. Enough said!

    Wildwood Crest, NJ

    November 19, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  138. KDallas

    Obama, is doing fine with his cabinet picks. There's going to be a lot of scrutinizing from the other party because their choice for president didn't succeed and this is to be expected. They are still bitter so of course everything President-Elect Obama does from hear on out will not be in their favor (Sad though). In the Clinton era we had more good days than bad, so I think that it is very wise for him to go back and gather some of those people who strived to make America great. We are in a tough position right now and it took us 8 years to get this disaster it is going to take more than a year to get us out of it. But I believe he is taking this problem head on. So to all you Nay Sayers just give him a chance.

    November 19, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  139. Geoffrey in Lowell, MA

    Which other administration should he choose from? Seems to me it should be one that moved social programs forward and reduced the deficit or ... one of the ones that degraded the infrastructure and the economy? Decisions decisions. Perhaps he should just choose a bunch of green untested people for such complex problems ... yeah that's the ticket, worked for Bush didn't it?

    November 19, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  140. Thom Richer

    Balanced budget, peace, sound economy, world respect , stable taxes, well run government, low unemloyment., fair wages and a United America. Other than that? I really can't say. Maybe he knows something we don't.

    Negaunee, MI

    November 19, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  141. Tom

    Very simple – three words: Hip – O – Crit! We will say what ever we have to in order to get elected. After that, as Frank Sinatra would sing: "I'll do it my way!"

    November 19, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  142. karen-phoenix

    The brightest and the best who really, really care about the middle class in this country!!!!

    November 19, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  143. karen raleigh

    Jack, I don't think there are too many choices if you go back 16 years. You really have to choose many who happened to be there during the Clinton years. Obama is choosing intelligent , low key people except for Hillary who has a big ego( maybe she can control her ego and her husband)

    November 19, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  144. Pat, Pa.

    People are too paranoid about the choices he is making. They have no idea what he meant when he said " change ". It looks to me like he is picking some pretty bright, experienced people to head up his campaign.
    If they can help him get the job done then that is the reason he is choosing them. After all, isn't that is why we voted for him ? To get the job done. We have to have confidence that he will pick the best people to work with him.

    November 19, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  145. Michael Fermanich, Marinette, Wisconsin

    Jack it is good to be a team player via experience and there is nothing wrong with picking people who served on a winning team.

    November 19, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  146. Mary from Houston, tx

    If we were all better off during those Clinton years, why not bring back the people responsible?

    November 19, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  147. Candace from Richmond

    I think he needs to surround himself with people that know what they are doing and has experience. These are tough times and besides the Clinton years weren't so bad. It's a decision that has to be made and HE is the one calling the shots so even though these appointees all sound familiar Obama is the top dog and what he'll bring to the table is the change we believed in.

    November 19, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  148. Jean

    When the President-Elect has zero experience at anything related to the type of governing required by the Presidency you better darn well pick experienced people. Too bad it looks like Obama's "change" message is just an old retread of the same old political games. It sounds good when you say it and, unfortunately, a lot of people fall for it, then boom – right back to Washington as usual. Change?? – yeah change backwards. Again though since Obama has zero experience I guess its the best he can do. If he had any experience he could at least reach out beyond the retreads but that would up the danger factor beyond just a President with inadequate experience because then no one would know what they were doing.

    November 19, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  149. Anna

    He is being smart. For a new president to come in with a completely new staff would be overly idealistic and reckless. He is just appointing people who proved they can do a good job and who also have experience in the White House. I think it's very reassuring that he is utilizing people who have this kind of experience because in order to bring change, you need to know how the system works.

    November 19, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  150. lynnej

    Say what you want about President Clinton. He had some of the brightest people around him. President-Elect Obama is just tapping into that well of knowledge.

    Put it this way, would you rather he picked first person off the street like Bush did with "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job" to run FEMA, HHS or the State Department? After the eight years of what we've witnessed, it is a step up in quality.

    November 19, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  151. JD, Greenville NC

    I don't think Obama is hiring them to replay the Clinton years. He's a smart guy, and he needs people who will work hard to implement his policies. To do that he'll need smart people who know the system and aren't afraid to yell at the Bushies. Bush's cronies have been appointed to be "rear guard" in the federal agencies, and will be as much of a barrier as a Republican filibuster.

    November 19, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  152. CAA Dover, NH

    He appears to be picking a mix and making sure it includes experienced talent. If he's going to get elite talent, it is fair to assume they will be picked from a pool of candidates who may have served under Pres Clinton, who left office only eight years ago. It doesn't mean it is the same administration all over again; only that the new president wants to make sure the best available resources are provided for our country.

    November 19, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  153. Mark

    The Clinto administration was quite sucessful. Plus, most of the people being appointed were just deputies and the policies in the administration were not their's.

    November 19, 2008 at 4:59 pm |
  154. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    The people Obama chooses will be implementing HIS agenda. It's obvious that he knows what he's doing or he never would've won the nomination. I trust Obama, with the advice of his close friends Valerie Jarrett, David Axelrod, and Robert Gibbs, to choose the people he thinks best to carry out the change he promised.

    November 19, 2008 at 4:59 pm |
  155. Dave G

    Let's wait to see all of the appointments, then we'll get a better picture. I guarantee you Obama appoint Republicans.

    November 19, 2008 at 4:59 pm |
  156. John


    Change from Republicans o Democrats. Back to prosperity and freedom. It sounds really good to me.

    November 19, 2008 at 4:59 pm |
  157. Jacqueline in Missouri

    We simply wanted change from the Bush years. I am glad that Obama is picking bright individuals.

    November 19, 2008 at 4:59 pm |
  158. Jerry

    How is this not change? If I recall correctly, Bush was the President for the last 8 years, not Bill Clinton (even though many of us wish that wasn't the case). He is sticking to his campaign promise and choosing the best people to fix the mess that occurred since the turn of the century.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  159. Mike D

    At first I was a little skeptical about all of these choices but I'll be more concerned if the "change we need" doesn't show up in Obama's policies. Sure, he could hire all new people and show that his administration is completely full of change but those people probably wouldn't know how to handle the job. If he picks qualified people who may have been around Washington before but who will support his policies of change, then I think his chances of being a successful president are very good.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  160. Sidney D.

    Jack! who elce has the knowlage of what it takes to straighten up this mess that the current Adm. has put us in than people who have the knowlege and experance of some of the best econimecs times we have seen in a long time, ballenced budget, people with money in there pockets, good intrest rates, the list goes on . Straped in Fl.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:03 pm |
  161. phil

    He is surrounding himself with experienced people Jack.I will admit I wouldnt want to work for Hillary Clinton, but I would sure want her working for me.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:04 pm |
  162. Robert

    He wants to hit the floor running. Our country is in dire straits. If I was running a company, my objective would be to identify those that would strengthen my organization with experience. That is the direction that Obama is heading in. Until he takes his seat in the White House, I will decide then if he is managing the country to the best of his ability with his picks. All the right wing pundits are out with all the negativity. They have all the answers but refuse to run for office.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:05 pm |
  163. Dave Arnholt, Minnesota

    These are experienced people whjo cleaned up the first Bush mess. In this case history must repeat itself.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:06 pm |
  164. Daniel Sturgeon

    Who else is he expected to pick? Former Carter Administration officials?

    November 19, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  165. Steve - Texas

    Because he doesn't know who to choose on his own so he's just doing what the Dem before him did. That ought to work right?

    I wonder if he smokes cigars?

    November 19, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  166. Isaac

    That he is just another politician.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  167. Erin

    Come on Jack. It means Obama knows how to assemble a smart, highly qualified, and capable team to lead this country our of the depths we are in.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  168. Abeed Bawa

    Obama wants our economy to return to prosperity. The last time we prospered as a nation was when Bill Clinton was president. Therefore, he is picking people with ties to the best modern-day president of our time. You're only as good as the people you are surrounded by.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  169. Paolo

    Jack, except for Bob Gates, it is much better picking them than picking those from the Bush administration.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  170. LUCI

    The change is what he is doing. No more Bush. That is the change!!

    November 19, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  171. John in Toronto

    Jack: Bottom line, regardless of who the President places in these positions, if they do not perform as a group and meet the expectations of the administration, they will be gone in short order.... Besides this gives the press something to complain about, does the press expect for the President to pick people off the streets? Maybe the odd Republican would be a nice twist?

    November 19, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  172. mike, OH

    I think it shows obama want's to get things done. New faces couldn't execute his agenda as effectively and efficiently as seasoned veterans will. Thank God we gotta pragmatic president!

    November 19, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  173. Sara Zuelke

    What it says about him is that he wants to be ready to hit the ground running, with at least some of his staff ahead of the learning curve.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  174. Jahn from Richmond Va.

    it's simple, jack, he's looking for a few good men and women, and is not holding against them any previous administrative work. As long as they are not damage doers, I don't see what difference it makes.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  175. Paul B

    Obama wants to surround himself with individuals who brought this country into economic prosperity. The last administration to do this was the Clinton admin. He should tap this valuable and proven resource.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  176. Veda

    He wants experienced qualified people from a successful administration. Obama's change is about policy and how business is done. He can still bring about change with people who know what they're doing. I'm pleased with his choices.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  177. Mike from PEI

    Simple Jack.
    He is surrounding himself with the best people available just like Clinton did.
    Are American memories that short that they forget the Clinton administration was one of the most successful and prosperous in US history?
    This is a step in the right direction to repair the incredible damage that the Bush regime has caused.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  178. Jeff

    It is change from the current bunch. That is what was promised by Obama and McCain.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  179. Josephine

    I think it shows that he wants to make sure he has the best deocratic candidates that actually made a change in the Clinton Administration. We need to take a few things from the past to make it a goal to make a better future.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  180. Lois Robertson, New Windsor, Maryland

    Since the Democrats have not held the White House nor few other important positions in government in the last 8 years...who would you expect President-elect Obama to have on his list of choices? He wants to have the best and brightest around him and many of those people happened to have served during the Clinton years. I for one am grateful that he is looking at so many people and am thrilled so far to see who he has already chosen. Just because many of these people being considered served in the Clinton administration doesn't mean they aren't up to the incredible daunting issues that this new President and our country face after 8 years of this Bush adminstration.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  181. Tina G.

    It is still change from the past 8 years we just had. I would rather have him pick people from the Clinton Administration who has the experience then some one who does not have much experience.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  182. Sara Dassance

    I think it is brilliant strategy to appoint experienced people. Candidate Obama certainly made it clear in the campaign that what he and the American people want are solutions to problems. To appoint people who know how to make that happen only makes sense. They will all be taking orders from President Obama, not Clinton...there is the big change.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  183. PaSai

    Change is a relative term, some would view change in this particular situation as anything different from the Bush administration while others would assert that change should be different from any of Obama's predecessors period. I personally believe that any change is good at this point, but I do think the country and Obama would benefit from appeasing both perspectives.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  184. kathy

    I think President -Elect Obama has made sound decisions in the selection of his cabinet members; afterall during the Clinton era the country was economically strong, no deficit, unemployment at a low, so if I were him I would have made the same choices! Old faces new ideas!!!

    November 19, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  185. Bjoerlingfan

    He's trying to pick the best people for the jobs. Honestly, people forget that Bill Clinton was not president 40 years ago–he was president less than a decade ago. Any Democrat in Washington who has the necessary qualifications for these positions was probably involved in the Clinton administration in some capacity.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  186. jeanine

    It is simple...President-elect Obama is seeking change through experience. Change will happen much faster with these individuals in place!

    November 19, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  187. Ashley Sacramento

    Does it matter? Any choice he makes will be a change from what we have now. Also, Obama didn't run on the "Shake DC up" platform. Last I remember, my pocket book went a little further during the Clinton years, by all means place anyone you can get from that administration and get rid of anyone remotely associated with the Bush administration.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  188. Melanie Perry

    Bringing change to Wasington means new ideas, a new vision, a new way of being. President-Elect Obama appears to be choosing the brightest and the best, who share this "vision of change" and also have the knowledge and experience to implement it.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  189. gabrielle

    what did you think he was going to do, bring a bunch of freshies, to be devoured by the political monster that is our government. He needs people that have, like enough views, and the know how to get stuff done. He isn't going to pick people who aren't going to back him up. He is very good at selecting the best.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  190. Thomas Stout

    If I remember correctly the country was running fairly well during the Clinton Presidency. We were not at war and the economy was not going down the tub. So what is so wrong with using people who already know how to make thing better without having to learn from the beginning.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  191. robert davis

    I think that by obama choosing clintons fomer staff members shows that he clearly wants to bring america back to when the econmics times was booming back in the ninties with the same peoples that former president clinton had behind him. these former clinton staff members knows how to get it done in washington.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  192. Lois Redding

    Change comes not from the knowledgeable people that will be surrounding Obama, but rather from the ideas and how they are implemented. Lack of cowboy diplomacy will be change we can believe in.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  193. Tony Pejack

    Yes, President-Elect Obama is selecting former Clinton people to jobs in his currently forming administration. This is not a deviation of his promise to "change" because we need to determine what he meant by "change"! To me, and I'm sure many others, it means change from what we have been subjected to in the past eight years!!
    Tony Pejack
    Yucaipa, CA

    November 19, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  194. EW

    Jack, its really quite simple. Change was just a buzz word used by the Obama campaign to appeal to those that make decisions based on emotion instead of fact. There will never be any real change in Washington until we vote the bums out and make lobbying illegal.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  195. PAT California

    The CHANGE is out with the Bush crowd and in with the Obama team! His well thought out selections have proven their abilities in past service. You don't expect him to go to a college graduating class to choose NEW people in order to make Change mean NEW and YOUNG! He is choosing seasoned players similar to selecting athletic choices. The teams pick the best for the job they need filled! Obama isn't letting age or party influence his choices. He wants the BEST !

    November 19, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  196. Cassandra in Cheverly, Maryland

    It's naive to assume that President-elect Obama's call for "change" is a blanket statement that should cover every aspect of his administration. The last time this country experienced a noticeable degree of prosperity was during the Clinton years, so it makes sense for Obama to surround himself with those who have "been there" and "done that." We've already slogged through eight years of incompetency. It's time to bring wisdom back to the White House. I expect the real change to come in the form of new policies that benefit all Americans and our nation's place in the world.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  197. Bonnie S., Live Oak, FL

    I see it as Obama taking over as captain of a luxury liner. Why not get people who have already learned how to make the ship run right? It's the captain who sets the course.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  198. Sam Winchester

    He's saying I'm smart. I have little expedience and I want to surround myself with people who know stuff and can get things done. What these people will be doing is putting forth President Obama's agenda and not President Clinton's. That's enough change for me. As President Elect Obama said the night he won, "Change HAS come to Washington."That change is new leadership.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  199. Louis

    When Pres. elect Obama spoke of change, I believe it was "CHANGE " from the Bush policies. They country did well under Pres. Clinton's watch and there is nothing to suggest it won't again with a number of people chosen from his administration. It 's HARD to imagine things being worst than the last 8 years.

    Louis- New Orleans, La.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  200. Boomer, Chicago

    Packing his cabinet with former Clinton staffers sends the same message he sent with his election campaign: tap the resources of the best people possible in order to win the election and to wage successful legislative campaigns. The Clinton years were the most prosperous and praiseworthy in recent years (other than for Clinton himself). Philadelphia wouldn't care if the entire Phillies team had been sacked and replaced with Tampa Bay players, so long as the Phillies won the World Series.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  201. Linda C.

    Jack: Who would you like him to pick people like you or me. People with no experience walking around the capitol like some of our Congressmen like walking zompies just picking up their paychecks. There are already too many of those types there. We need people with some experience. He's picking people who have some experience but who didn't have the big jobs before but enough to know how to manuver their way around. These people do need some type of previous experience or it would take them several years to get us to speed just to be able to get anything done!! Duh......Jack!!!!

    November 19, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  202. Katherine F

    Who else do we expect him to pick? The people he’s picking for his Cabinet are ready to get to work to help Obama get things done, something we haven’t seen for the past 8 years. Why are we holding Obama with such different standards than we did with Bush? In case everyone has forgot, Bill Clinton was the last Democratic President. So, unless we expect Obama to go back and ask people from the Carter Presidency, I think we should all be thankful for the choices Obama has been making so far. It’s going to take A LOT of experienced people to clean up this mess that the Republicans have made.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  203. Gary

    Everybody should just take a deep breath and relax for a bit. Let's see how Obama utiizes the appointments he makes. To change the tune you don't have to have new instruments. You can make the ones you have play a different tune.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  204. Randy Nichols

    It works! So, there was a under the table issue!!! The eight years of Clinton was good!!! Take a look where we are now!!! Obama is surrounding himself with winners...Obama has placed winners around him...like Warren Buffett – Jimmy Buffett..".if it doesn't work out there will never be any doubt that the pleasure was worth all the pain."

    Looking for better days!!!

    November 19, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  205. Bob Coates

    Since Bill Clinton was the last good president of the U.S., and most of the people recently selected by Obama were involved with that administration, I believe that he is making the right choices and will be sufficiently dynamic to easily manage the various personalities.

    Bob – Southampton, PA

    November 19, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  206. Bobbie Moore

    I am certain that each person has been vetted regarding the willingness to help the president-elect achieve the changes wants to do for the ountry. He needs people he can both trust and can do their job allowing him to concentrate on our current financial situations. Clinton had a successful tenure with the persons now being selected. The best move he could make selecting the cream of the crop.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  207. Malcolm - Ellicott City, Maryland

    If he didn't pick experienced people he would be criticized as well. His judgement is still intact. The critics (both liberal and conservative) still don't get it. Obama is putting "country first" by hiring the best and the brightest who want to serve us. (They already have a name for themselves.)

    November 19, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  208. Michael

    More of the same she'll vote for a war we don't need to be in, sign more trade deals the benefit the rest of the world and leave us broke like we are. Have we not learned that Bill Clinton made a whole lot of bad deals also like the Phil Graham bill, Nafta giving China our technology, should I keep going.....
    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  209. Sandy

    Why's he picking former Clintonites? Duh. The Clinton Administration brought prosperity. The more important question is are they competent for the positions they will occupy?

    November 19, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  210. john

    Barack's message was change and his agenda is about how our Country does business. Would you let a newly graduated medical student perform brain surgery on your child? Lets not throw out the baby with the bath water. We need a new foreign policy, new health care plan, diplomacy rather than war, Wall Street regulation etc. etc. The captain will direct the ship of state and his crew no matter who it is, will implement the orders. jonbee, Lakewood, CO

    November 19, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  211. mackawee

    The challanges facing the USA are huge. What Obama is doing makes me more sure about his abilities in recognizing the tasks ahead. I'm still believe in him and his ability to bring the change. Obama is elected to bring this change and he will lead his team in this direction. So far he picked good people and they will follow his policies. To give you an examble about what I do think, take Hilary Clinton which was oppose to Obama's policy of talking to Iran.I think that she will go ahead with his policy.
    Mackawee- The Netherlands

    November 19, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  212. Gary Ensminger

    I thought Obama was talking about a change in policies. What good will he be if he picks newcomers to Washington and then sends them out to the Senate and Congress to push along policy change? He needs experienced people who know how things get done, doesn't he? I don't recall him ever saying his concern was anything but policy change. So why the question?

    November 19, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  213. Menash

    He needs to be measured by how much he gets accomplished on his commitments not by who he hires to bring what he wants to do. Change was about the policy and actions that got us now. If we trust him for what he promised, we have empower him who wants to hire to get the staff done.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  214. Marge Wein

    Considering the success of the Clinton years, don't you realize the intelligence of picking a great team? The change lies in the leadership of the President and the advice of his team of experienced political

    I live in Birmingham, Al

    November 19, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  215. Joy

    I think he is surrounding himself with former Clinton aides because he recognizes that if he wants to get the country back to prosperity, persons that helped before would be the way to go. There is nothing wrong with looking to the past for advancing change. Way to go, President -Elect Obama!

    November 19, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  216. Shirley in Penn

    Jack, Obama is the change- from Bush and Pres Clinton. No one can argue that Bush and his people were horrible and that Clinton was horrible-but not his people. This is not the time to experiment with fresh faces, I want someone who can get the job done.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  217. DonJon

    The message is simple: I am the President-elect and I will select who I think is best for the job, period.

    Based on the legislative & governing experience of the people announced to date there is no doubt he is putting a team together with the intention of rapidly making the change he promised. The fact that he is not selecting 'yes men' or 'women,' but, rather individuals of great achievement with the over sized ego that comes with them is testament to his near super-human self confidence. God speed.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  218. Justin Youso

    I don't think its an accident that Obama's White House is shaping up to look a lot like the one that presided over the biggest budget surplus in our nation's history. Maybe he thinks they can do it again. Makes sense to me.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  219. Henry Tan

    Of course Obama should take advantage of all that Clinton experience, especially during something as critical and time intensive as Transition. Change is about policy, not personalities. Discarding experience in the name of change is irresponsible, one thing Obama is not.

    Henry Tan
    Minneapolis MN

    November 19, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  220. Cassandra South Orange , New Jersey

    President elect Obama needs the most successful people who know how to get things done. He doesn't need people who have never worked in Washington. He is on the right track.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  221. hawkins

    You have to admit, even if you didn't care for the clinton administration and the shadow cast over it because of "the scandal", times were leaps and bounds better than they are today. Why would there be a problem rolling back to an administration that brought a bit of prosperity to the nation. If you asked the American people, i'd bet on a vast majority in favor of Clinton's old administration vs. Bush's.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  222. Harvey

    We've had 8 bad years of Republican choices. Prior to the Republican rule we had a thriving economy, we had international respect, we weren't leading two wars ...the list goeson... The only issue was Bill's 'communication' skills. We gave them a chance. Now we have to take steps for saving the world for our children. When you're the head coach you play your best team. All ye naysayers haven't even let the guy get into office...

    November 19, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  223. John Cohn

    Obama's rehash of the Clinton White House is a great disappointmet to those of use who voted for "change". Smells like a deal was struck during the Democract Primary. Fall River, MA

    November 19, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  224. Marjorie Wright

    The Clinton years were pretty good ones as I remember them. By chosing some of President Clinton's former cabinet member, I think the country is going to benefit by President-Elect Obama's choices combining his superior judgement and the experience of others.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  225. Lester Helms

    Come on now!
    The only reason Obama is bringing so many Clinton administration officials into his own is to keep his promise of returning us to the peace and prosperity we enjoyed during the Clinton presidentcy. DUH!!
    Les, Michigan

    November 19, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  226. Paul Barros

    Bill Clinton presided over the most financially successful period of the past 40 years. I say why not include some of Bill Clinton’s staff, that helped him accomplish this success, in Barack Obama’s cabnet? Change yes, let’s give control back to the people who know how to succeed.


    November 19, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  227. Twyla

    President elect Obama meant "change from the last eight years" , as he stated , " The Clinton years were good ". so what better way to do that then get the "tried and true people" of the Clinton years. Twyla

    November 19, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  228. Ruby, Champaign IL

    Taking advantage of some the brightest minds of the Clinton administration is a brilliant strategy. Obama's change for America is moving from a stupid administration to a smart one. When have we been more prosperous than during the Clinton administration? Not to mention the good will America enjoyed from most of the rest of the world. Why not use the best of that era to begin the next one?

    November 19, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  229. Frederick

    Where is Condi Rice when we need her?

    November 19, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  230. Pablo, Charles Town, WV

    Obama is clearly sending the message that he hopes to bring back the good ole' days of the Clinton administration. And sequels are always better with the same cast and crew.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  231. R.A. from Ohio

    That's easy: he secretly wants to be Bill Clinton... new White House interns: watch out!!!

    November 19, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  232. Bob (Illinois)

    It appears a lot of 'experts' are making the mistake of failing to distinguish between the *people* chosen by Obama and the *policies* which he will put forth.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  233. John in Arizona

    Change is a verb, not an adjective. Fresh faces would only be cosmetic window-dressing. Experienced and effective Congressional Hill experts are what's needed to effect change we can believe in.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  234. Sarah, Richmond VA

    Jack, If change means choosing people who have never been to Washington or been active in politics, then they obviously have never heard of the Carter Administration. Here we had a highly intelligent president who chose people who had no political savvy and they unfortunately were unable to accomplish the CHANGE they initiated.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  235. Tanya

    He's picking the best. Period. Next topic.......

    November 19, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  236. Carolann - Maine

    Who Cares! If I am not mistaken the Clinton years were pretty good . Evidently the people under Clinton knew what they were doing so let's stop condemning Pres. elect Obama for trying to get the best people that he can. Must we always find something to belly ache over. I think he knows what he is doing. He does not look like a man who does not think before he acts.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  237. PB

    The list to select from is limited, he has to find those that have a proven track record for change. Since change hasn't happened over the last 8 years, it would only make since the desired candidates have a history tied to the Clinton administration. The difference is they will be following Obama's vision not Clinton's.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  238. Duke

    When Clinton was running the country, things worked, people worked and the economy worked. President Elect Obama is just utilizing some of these same smart peolple. He knows what he's doing. We just need to wait.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  239. Ronnie

    Well it seems that Obama has the same views as most of us who are under the age of 30 in this country. It's obvious that through the 90's life was good. Speaking for myself growing up, I never knew the word "terror", nor did we see so much hate for America like we do now. I think Obama wants to take this country back to a fulfilling more abundant time, and i think the Clinton Administration is well aware of how to make that happen.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  240. Bill from Maine


    The new President needs a staff he can count on to get the job done. He needs people who are capable and know the ins and outs of government in order to do what he promised. It really is that simple. He could, I agree, bring in people who are entirely new to the process of running a country on the premise that everyone else is old guard. The problem with this is, they will all need time to get up to speed and that will slow things down immeasurably. Besides that, the Republicans will sit around and criticize him for having chosen people who are green and unproven. Now they just criticize him for bringing in former Clinton staff. They're going to criticize him one way or the other - he may as well have people who can do the job and let the chips fall where they may.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  241. Ollie

    Change? What Change? By appointing so many former Clintonites to senior positions in his administration, Obama give "lie" to his promise to promote change. He is loosing credibility even before taking office and that's too bad. We might have well elected Hillary and that's something that I (specifically) did not want....

    November 19, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  242. J.H. Swegman

    Obama is a very smart man and he knows our Country was moving in the right direciton during the Clinton administration. Why not surround yourself with some of the same people who helped bring that peace and prosperity to our country once before? That is a big change from the Bush adminstration! Remember what Hillary said on the campaign trail" It took a Clinton to clean up after the first Bush and it will take a Clinton to clean up after the second Bush." That's change you can believe in!

    November 19, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  243. Matt, Canoga Park CA

    No one seemed to like it when Bush had a repeat of his fathers administration. How is a repeat of the Clinton administration any different? Weren't these the same people that stole all the W's from the keyboards when Bush came in? What should the current staff steal all the O's before they leave. There are thousands of good hard working honest people capable of running elements of our government out there if you only give them the chance. Republican or Democrat these are the same people that failed this country. And you want them back for more? I guess change is the first of Obamas promises to be broken.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  244. Weldon

    You can't argue with success in history. Why not repeat it.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  245. Ashalee - Los Angeles, California

    From what I recall, the Clinton Administration didn't do too bad! We have been living in total madness these last 8 years and Barack Obama understands that in order for our country to recover from the Bush administration, we need to call upon the expertise of the people who were in leadership at a time when our country was at its best.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:32 pm |
  246. habib

    obama ought to be careful with the clintons old leaderes this is off message change means change different means different ,lets bring in the new guys with fresh and new ideas.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:32 pm |
  247. Daniel Harris

    He is not picking former Clinton admin. Members, he is simply picking the best, as great leaders should, intelligence is the factor Obama shares with Clinton, not staff.

    Daniel OR

    November 19, 2008 at 5:33 pm |
  248. Caroline Athens, GA

    Well, he wants experience. Obviously the Bush crew is out of the question, so he reverts to the last Democrats in the White House and that is Clinton's old gang. Jimmy Carter's bunch is too old. I can see it; but I think Hillary is a big mistake on many levels. I don't trust her, she's too ambitious, she's bringing the Clinton sleeze to the White House, & I don't think she's a team player.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:33 pm |
  249. Ngwanyia Pemambu

    President-Elect Barack Obama was very clear during the campaign when he said he was going to bring change to Washington, and what he meant by that was the tone of the politics not necessarily the players. His tone throughout this campaign has not only been measured but he has demonstrated a lot of common sense approach to politics without tearing down his opponents. He sets the tone and everybody below him follows the same. Hey, you can still fine tune an old car and expect it to run just as smooth.

    Ngwanyia Pemambu
    Eagan, Minnesota

    November 19, 2008 at 5:33 pm |
  250. Ell-Piret

    The message he is sending is he is fully capable of supervising subordinates. Some of the people he has picked will, with Obama, have a new boss with new and different expectations. It also lets people know he is not picking unqualified people as many feared he would.

    Grand Forks, ND

    November 19, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  251. Collin, MD

    Obama is no idiot! He knows what works and what doesn't work. Selecting people who are highly qualified is sending the right message. Just so happen, these people happen to be from the Clinton Administration.

    Obama is doing the opposite of the Bush Administration and we're not use to it. The past few years, Bush has hired a Attorney General (Alberto Gonzales), Defense Secretary (Donald Rumsfeld), Harriet Miers and etc that have FAILED.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  252. SV Sanaq

    Jack, it is beginning to look like the “Change and Hope” that Obama promoted during his campaign comes down to this… the Change is the coins we will have left in our pockets in the aftermath of the economic meltdown and the Hope mentioned was a reference to the Clintonland of Hope, Arkansas. Typical politispeak. Perhaps we DID get fooled again.

    SV Sanaq
    Vancouver, Canada

    November 19, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  253. Fabian Krauss

    I don't know that Mr. Obama is trying to send a message, but if memory serves, the country seemed to like the job the Clinton administration did for the most part, especially when it came to the economy and balancing the budget. The Clintons were there for 8 years, learned from whatever mistakes were made and now have an opportunity to have influence in a new White House. They are very smart people. Would'nt it stand to reason, that Mr. Obama would want to surround himself with experience, brains and members of a former administration that was headed by a man who was popular, did great things for the economy-which by the way is upside down right now-and understands things that could only come from being in the White House? Maybe it's just me.......but why would'nt the people want said individuals in the new administration?

    November 19, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  254. Retired Army in San Antonio

    Look at it like this: If you want competent and experienced people with Democratic roots........then you pretty much HAVE to look for them in the ranks of the former Clinton Administration.

    And he MUST have SOME advisors and Cabinet members with experience!

    Pretty plain and simple!

    November 19, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  255. Demetri

    Change does not automatically mean reinvent the wheel. It means implying new ideas. All Obama is doing is picking those who have a track record and are willing to be the agents of change in Washington. So far he is doing all right!!

    November 19, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  256. Larry

    Obama is a very smart man and he knows our Country was moving in the right direciton during the Clinton administration. Why not surround yourself with some of the same people who helped bring that peace and prosperity to our country once before? That is a big change from the Bush adminstration! Remember what Hillary said on the campaign trail” It took a Clinton to clean up after the first Bush and it will take a Clinton to clean up after the second Bush.” That’s change you can believe in!

    November 19, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  257. George Getchell

    Obama's message is: I'll do it my way, regardless of what I promised you.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:36 pm |
  258. Mike from Upstate NY

    This is change? Looks more like a rerun. Did we really make the significant changes Obama promised during the Clinton years? I'm starting to feel disappointed.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:37 pm |
  259. Jewels

    Obama's not going to make a "Sarah Palin" choice. He is looking for proven and experienced leaders. I think he is right on track.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:37 pm |
  260. Frederick Cross

    Obama is the captain of a hugh ship that needs a crew that at least knows how to tie a knot. He is the captain that will bring the new direction with the "old hands" in the engine room.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:37 pm |
  261. Tom Perry Bath, Maine

    When I voted for Obama, I voted for change not the old Clinton team. As far as I'm concerned he's making a big mistake and he has deceived me on his message of change. If Clinton won the primary I would have voted for McCain. He's not starting out on the right foot and it upsets me.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:37 pm |
  262. Peter Gold


    Think about it, other that the Clinton administration, the last Democratic White House team left in 1980, 28 years ago. Most of Jimmy Carter's folks are too old to serve. So, notwithstanding reaching across the asile, most of the best and brightest; and most importantly EXPERIENCED Democrats have to come from the Clinton White Huose era. It only makes sense. And what is so bad with that.....compared to what we have now, or could have had if it were a President-Elect John McCain trying to choose the best and brightest EXPERIENCED Republicans out there......OUCH!!!!

    November 19, 2008 at 5:38 pm |
  263. wakeupamerica

    President Elect Obama is picking bright, credible and capable candidates for his Cabinet. After 8 years of Bush, who on that team is truly capable? I am impressed at the thought and care President Elect Obama is using in selecting and naming his appointees. While I'm not a huge Lieberman fan, I am content with keeping him in his current role.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:38 pm |
  264. Kelsey

    I think the press wants to keep the Clinton-Obama rivalry alive by reading too much into this. Bill Clinton is the only democratic president to have served in the last 28 years, and most notable democrats worked for him at some time or another. He's probably looking for people with experience working in the executive branch. Experience is something he was always attacked on, and I think it's smart to address your weaknesses. Besides, having people who known their way around will make his transition to the presidency smoother.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:38 pm |
  265. Phil Dillon

    Yeah Jack , You are correct. Why fill up the empty positions with all of the same old has beens who gave us a no foreign wars, a balanced budget, and a budget surplus?

    November 19, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  266. Jonathan

    Hmm, I thought we wanted change in america is to why we voted for Barack Obama, with him picking the former Clinton Administration we are going back 16 years, so much for going forward with change. I think we are in for a rude awakening when the stock market crashes yet again. Well I am not seeing chaning in this new administration, so he just broke his promise of brining change to America. That is what I think of that.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:40 pm |
  267. Pat in Hampstead, Maryland

    Jack – these are people that already know how our government works so its a smart move to bring in experience. Especially considering Clintons track record on the Economy. As Commander in Chief he will still need to convince Americans he is changing the way Washington works. He's not off the hook for Change. We need new blood .

    November 19, 2008 at 5:43 pm |
  268. Christine

    Obama is picking people with experience. Change does not have to come from picking people no one has ever heard of and have no reason to trust. I believe that the sort of change Obama is seeking is one of the ideas and the practices of government. It does not bother me at all that he is picking people that might have some idea of how to do their jobs as long as they are willing to push new ideas. Ideas bring change people do not. Obama knows this.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  269. Randy from Salt Lake City

    It means nothing will change. We will still be in two wars or three if Isreal attacks Iran and the US has to come to its aid. The economy will still melt down because those who pushed Clinton into deregulate the markets and dump the Glass-Segal Act will be put back in charge and will probably continue enriching their rich friends on Wall Street.

    I was hoping that President Obama was going to surround himself with highly intelligent, innovative, USA-first individuals who possessed high moral standards and integrity. But after digging deeper into the past actions of some of his cabinet pics, I have no hope for this country whatsoever.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  270. Randy Waldron

    Jack, by surrounding himself with Clinton-era cabinet members, Obama is saying he's working to get this country back to prosperity. I don't care what people say about Abraham Lincoln, FDR, JFK or even Dub-Ya, but Clinton was the greatest President we ever had. Why? Because he surrounded himself with the best, brightest and most well-intentioned people in the Beltway and beyond.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  271. Dee Evans

    If we take thoughts like these as the only concepts of change then conceivably every 4 to 8 years we do get change. This concept of change is more in ideas, policies and the inner workings of our government. Regardless of who is coming to dinner, they all have to sit and eat at Obama's table...and there's where we will get change!

    Dee Evans
    Dallas, Texas

    November 19, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  272. Juan B

    It is very simple Jack,the message is "The Clinton years were very good from the economic standpoint and we want and need more of the same".

    November 19, 2008 at 5:45 pm |
  273. Douglas


    This means that the bad old days of the bush is over and the good economic days of the clinton is back. Thats the change we need.


    November 19, 2008 at 5:45 pm |
  274. Dee Evans

    If we take thoughts like these as the only concepts of change then conceivably every 4 to 8 years we do get change. This concept of change is more in ideas, policies and the inner workings of our government. Regardless of who is coming to dinner, they all have to sit and eat at Obama's table...and there's where we will get change...and then some!

    Dee Evans
    Dallas, Texas

    November 19, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  275. Dennis

    Change back to balanced budgets, economic growth, and respect for America abroad like the Clinton team left. Any coach knows to pick players that have effective records. Change with the ability to deliver. President-elect Obama is showing his wisdom by the day – lets hope he names his treasury secretary soon.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  276. smitty Quilcene, WA

    I don't know – could it be that he's scared?

    I would be too. With this perfect storm about to collide would you fire the staff of FEMA, the Red Cross and the Coast Guard and bring in all new people?

    November 19, 2008 at 5:47 pm |
  277. Peggy Howard

    I think Barack Obama is a very kind, gentleman type of guy.
    I think he is overwhelmed by the appointments.
    I beleive the Clinton wheel and Democratic Clintonites are forcing him to appoint people prematurely. He is coerced to name people he problably would not appoint. He is very naive and kind and good, and they are forcing him to do these things, because more than the world they want the presidency all over again.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:48 pm |
  278. Brian B in Edmond

    After the mid-term they'll all be gone. Barack can deflect repudiations in 2012 that he did not bring change by challenging critics to "look at his staff". I like Hillary and Bill, but I'm nervous at Hillary as Sec. of State. I feel there's way too much undue influence there and this could lead to BIG problems for 2012 if leaks start to occur due to animosity over conflicts in policy.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:48 pm |
  279. Pat

    The change that Obama promised is about practices, policies, and procedures, Strong leaders forge this kind of change and people factor in only in how effective they can be in implementing the desired change. Though less complex, when I decided to change my hair color, there was no need to change salons, I just needed to pick the operator in the same salon who was best in this area and who clearly understood what I wanted to see when I looked in the mirror.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:49 pm |
  280. Vikram-Laurel, MD

    Whats wrong in choosing something that worked in the past?
    I am expecting President Obama to pick experienced people (whose ideas worked well in past) to implement ideas of change for future.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:49 pm |
  281. Jean OK

    Why wouldn't Obama pick the smartest people who KNOW HOW to restore the success we had for eight years, left us with our budget in the black, he knows exactly what he's doing and it's time to stop criticizing his choices. Pull together as a nation, we've picked him as our President because we believed he'd do the best for all, he needs everyones full support to make the best choices to do his job.

    November 19, 2008 at 5:50 pm |