Thursday, December 18, 2008

Pastor Rick Warren a Good Choice by Obama

Although I should not have to I want to preface this post by saying I don't agree with Rick Warren on many things and unlike Warren (and unlike Obama) I am in favor gay marriage and an expansion of gay rights. But it's precisely for this reason that I think Rick Warren is an excellent choice by President Elect Obama to give the Presidential inaugural invocation which will certainly be one of the most watched religious statements in history. He does not reflect *my* opinions but he reflects those of many fellow Americans. Obama's assuming leadership of all of us, not just the folks with whom he agrees.

Critics of this choice seem to forget that for the most part their worldview won this election. Although it may be tempting to rub that win in the face of the opposition by ignoring their opinions and beliefs, Obama has risen to the occaision yet again to choose somebody who reflects the views of millions of Americans who are in what most would call the "religious center" of American religious opinion.

I certainly appreciate the right of gay folks to be disappointed in this choice - wanting your views to prevail, and wanting broader and deserved recognition of gay rights is something I want to happen as well. However I think that even more important than that - and arguably the path to that - is bringing everybody to the table who is willing to talk in a respectful way. Rick Warren has done that in many venues - most notably with the excellent Presidential candidate interviews and with the tolerance he preaches to his very large evangelical following.

This is another excellent choice by Obama. Not because it matches *my views*, but because it is a important reflection on and upon the diversity of opinion in our huge and complex nation.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Caroline Kennedy Likely to Take Clinton's NY Senate Seat

Reports are suggesting that Caroline Kennedy is likely to take over the NY Senate Seat vacated by Hillary Clinton in January when she assumes the role of US Secretary of State. Kennedy was on the "short list" for this position and now she has indicated interest in the job. As a key figure in politics for many years and an early and prominent Obama supporter, Kennedy appears likely to get the nod soon for the Senate.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Obama announces his security / foreign policy team

President Elect Obama announced his national security and foreign policy team this morning which includes Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, Acting Defense Secretary Gates who will stay in his current position at Defense, Janet Napolitano as Secretary of Homeland Security, Eric Holder as US Attorney General, Susan Rice as UN Representative. and General James Jones as National Security Advisor.

Clinton is one of the most intriguing choices for a major player in decades, and promises at the very least to be one of the most prominent international representatives of the USA in some time. Although it's unlike we'll see Bill Clinton at her side during international trips, his Presidential status and extraordinary number of prominent contacts throughout the world is likely to give Hillary Clinton unprecedented levels of access and potential acceptance on the international stage.

Obama inherits some of the nation's greatest challenges both on the economic and foreign policy fronts and it will be interesting to see how well his approach can work by essentially placing a Clinton style cabinet at his side.