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What Obama's team tells us about him

Thomas Ash
24 October 2008

Friends in America tell me that, with an Obama victory continuing to look likely, the chatter on cable news shows has begun to move on to the question of what sort of President he would be. Though this point is often overstated by those on the right, it is true that he is something of an empty book. The main thing we have to go on (besides his campaign book and policy proposals - hardly the most reliable sources, driven as they are by a concern with electability) is his choice of advisers.

Fortunately, a comprehensive National Journal article on this is highly reassuring. Obama has assembled a team of over three hundred seasoned professionals, divided into a dozen large policy groups. Heading this troupe are not the militant leftists of Andy McCarthy's imagination, but senior officials from the Clinton administration, like Tony Lake and Susan Rice.

Obama's team is relentlessly mainstream. Nowhere is this more true than in the case of Austan Goolsbee, Obama's chief economic adviser. Goolsbee's acquaintances describe him as a "committed centrist", and you may remember that he got Obama into trouble in the primaries when he (allegedly) told Canadian officials that his candidate's harsh words on NAFTA were merely political posturing to assuage the leftist Democratic base. Nonetheless, he is not lacking in partisan pluck - you may enjoy this video:

For more insight into the other members of Obama's policy team, I urge you to read the article I referred to above...

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