- The Washington Times - Friday, November 21, 2008

THE TALON POOL

Peace now? Well, not just yet, perhaps.

“Anti-war groups and other liberal activists are increasingly concerned at signs that Barack Obama’s national security team will be dominated by appointees who favored the Iraq invasion and hold hawkish views on other important foreign policy issues,” notes the Los Angeles Times.

Activists who backed Mr. Obama fear he is abandoning his “anti-war moorings” and easing up on his rigid timetable for withdrawing troops from Iraq.

“There´s so much Obama hero worship, we´re having to walk this line where we can´t directly criticize him. But we are expressing concern,” said Kevin Martin of Peace Action.

“Welcome to Washington, where it´s almost always a case of ‘meet the new boss, same as the old boss.’ Obama needed to impress the left to get the nomination, and now he needs to shed himself of the albatross in order to govern,” advises Ed Morrissey of Hot Air.

BUSHIE FOR ‘BAMA

The Obama wheel-of-fortune could favor a man sure to vex peaceniks: A member of the Bush Cabinet.

“As Barack Obama makes his way through the transition to power, he is learning the steps of an old dance. Having promised change, he now surrounds himself with experience. Having poured scorn not only on the Bush administration but at times on the Clinton administration as well, he now welcomes those who served his Democratic predecessor, including the former first lady who ran against him. And having roundly denounced current foreign and military policies, he may very well ask Defense Secretary Robert Gates to remain in place,” writes Joe Conason of the New York Observer.

“While Mr. Obama displays both confidence and maturity in embracing his former adversaries, he must expect cries of outrage and disappointment from his own supporters. If the prospect of appointing Hillary Clinton as secretary of state irritates the Obama base, what will they make of keeping the man who has executed President Bush´s policies at the Pentagon?”

“First it is important to recall that the president-elect vowed to bring change to politics as well as policy. The Obama administration would foster bipartisan cooperation wherever possible, he said, especially in matters of foreign policy and national security. If those are his objectives then retaining Mr. Gates makes considerable sense - at least for the time being.”

SECRETARY BURSTY

Former Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle must be pleased to know he is now, officially, “bursty.” This is Nielsen’s uber-pop term for those who are the biggest movers on the Nielsen Blogpulse - which measures how much someone is cited online. Mr. Daschle is No. 8 on the list, behind “zombie flick screenwriter” Mark Protosevich and 7-foot-tall University of North Carolina basketball forward Tyler Zeller.

Mr. Daschle was chosen Health and Human Services secretary in the Obama Cabinet.

REALITY CHECK

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