BREAKING!!! Hillary to Deliver Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address

In yet another piece of evidence that Barack Obama will change how things are done in Washington, it appears that Obama will ask his former rival for the Democratic presidential nomination to deliver the inaugural address in January.

So says the NYT, in a story scoping out what color drapes Michelle has planned for the family quarters at the White House.

His transition chief has even drafted a sample Inaugural Address.


Mr. Obama’s transition team is led by a former White House chief of staff, John D. Podesta, who has been preparing for the task at the research organization he runs, the Center for American Progress, since long before it was clear who would win his party’s nomination.


Mr. Podesta has been mapping out the transition so systematically that he has already written a draft Inaugural Address for Mr. Obama, which he published this summer in a book called “The Power of Progress.” The speech calls for rebuilding a “grand alliance” with the rest of the world, bringing troops home from Iraq, recommitting to the war in Afghanistan, cutting poverty in half in 10 years and reducing greenhouse gases 80 percent by 2050.

The Grey Lady must have meant to imply that Hillary will deliver this address for Obama, since Podesta wrote that speech back when he was working to elect Hillary president. 

It’s a great idea, too, for Obama to have one of his biggest rivals to deliver his inauguration speech. After all, Obama is known for writing dull, uninspiring speeches; he can’t deliver them very well, either.  Thankfully, Podesta will save us from this kind of history-making speech and allow us all to get back to watching football. Or organizing our sock drawers–whatever it was we were doing before we started fighting to get our country back. 

In other news, Obama will appoint John McCain his Secretary of Treasury and Randy Scheunemann his Secretary of State.

21 replies
  1. scribe says:

    Ok, EW.

    Put down the cooking sherry and back away from the computer.

    Everything will be all right, save for a little headache, come tomorrow morning.

  2. perris says:

    hillary has grown far more comfortable in her own skin, if she had delivered her personal speaches as comfortably as she delivered barak to the nomination, then she would have been the nominee.

    she is going to be amazing if barack wins this election

    do not forget however, they are ALREADY flipping electronic votes, they are ALREADY gaming this election and they are DEFINATELY going to be more discreet in the early voting then in the general

    that means they are going to be even more aggresive in the general election flipping votes then they are now

    hang on to hats, no matter how many people turn out to vote for barack, this is not a lock

    the more exposed they are the more brazen they will become, as it becomes obvious they cannot win they will be less and less discreet, doing more and more to manipulate the count

    that might lead to and uprising which in fact is just what they want, an “emergency” where they can invoge their directive

    let’s hope they realize there are far too many people voting barack for them to effect a change in the count

  3. gryphon says:

    don’t scare me like that EW … I had a sudden vision of Divided Democrats and Hillary Grandstands articles on inauguration day…

    wait, I’m pretty sure we get those no matter what …

  4. JohnLopresti says:

    Thoughtful post. And now Sunstein is starting to worry how many conservatives he will have to appoint to the plum jobs at Justice, what with Whitehouse ready to prepare another org chart showing 30+ conduits of contact with the Oval Office, though the link shows in this instance simply Fried returning to teach conservativism Harvard style, much like Cass’ own cautionary pedagogies at UChi. Heck, I even heard a July 2008 interview with Jane Mayer this week depicting Cheney as having problems with perfectionists in constitutional law like Comey and Goldsmith, I think that was the interview I remember. Conservatism buglers.

  5. Ishmael says:

    In other news, the NYTimes is also thinking that winning the Presidency, a filibuster proof Senate and a huge House majority may not be good news for Democrats – I guess they read Newsweek and found out it is really a centre right country after all.…

  6. PJEvans says:

    Unfortunately, not everyone has good sense. Over at the Great Orange Satan, they’re reporting that NBC has picked up the ‘inaugural speech’ but not the Clinton campaign part of the speech, and the ‘presumptuous’ meme is about to hit the road again.

  7. freepatriot says:

    If I was Obama, I’d wanna send somebody else out on that stage too

    the movie “Blazing Saddles” comes to mind for some reason …


  8. Sara says:

    Some months ago, I dedicated a Yellow Legal Pad to what might be intelligent guesses as to who would get Obama appointments — jobs, and then people who get penciled in given their being pushed forward to do surrogate duty on something or other, or comments that come out in Obama’s comments.

    I have only one candidate for Chief of Staff — Tom Daschle. I think he will not be a “public” CoS, but a masterful behind the scenes organizer.

    Podesta makes sense in Transition — he headed up for Clinton the hand over to Bush, thus he knows where things stood in 2001, and can quickly see all the changes and migrations of missions, 2001-2009. Doesn’t mean he will be in change of anything over time. Bush has been very clever, he has set up a transition structure that doesn’t match normal department and agency organization. Hopefully the mandate will be large enough for the Obama transition people to demand and get what they need without running headlong into this barrier. There was an interesting interview with Thomas Mann of Brookings and Norm Orenstein about this on NPR (or MPR, can’t remember) about ten days ago. They favored a constitutional amendment making the transition period much smaller — New President would take over by Thanksgiving. Not sure I agree — it still might take Florida a month to count their ballots. They were also exploring ways to get appointees in place when a President takes office.

    Anyhow, who else has been trying to make guesses from the limited information available? I don’t mean wishes — I mean reality based guesses?

    • freepatriot says:

      I don’t mean wishes — I mean reality based guesses?

      guess I can’t wish Diane Feinstein away then, huh ???

      you’re usually more fun than this …

      let’s see …

      anybody got a list of blue dogs from states with a Democrat Governor ???

      how about joezoe tortureman for ambassador to Iran (just go to Tehran now joe, we’ll get you a building soon …)

      how about Ned Lamont

      Paul Hackett

      Harold Ford maybe

      you can see where I’m going with this …

  9. Sara says:

    I’ve got several underscores for Erik Halter for DoJ. They were at Harvard about the same time — so I see a DoJ team led by people they both know, with lots of the legal leaders in Obama’s campaign getting key USA appointments, and perhaps Inspector General positions in the various departments. In two years he has to pick a new FBI director, so look for one or several candidates to be in these ranks. Obama says he wants to appoint Judges — including Supreme Court Judges — who have not spent their entire life writing legal briefs, but know from experience other lives. I look for a few “otherwise experienced” types to receive DoJ appointments in waiting for Judicial openings. I look for Halter to quickly propose a reorganization of DoJ as a way of minimizing the positions of Bushie hold-overs in the Civil Service.

    The way I work is add names for a position, and then add an underscore when I get reason to confirm the guess from an independent source.

    Richard Clarke at Homeland Security. His deputy will probably be Jamie Lee Whit — an inside/outside play.

    I think Obama will give Carolyn Kennedy a high position, either at DoJ or perhaps Interior. (remember, she has written two books on Constitutional Law and has done a huge behind the scenes organization job on the campaign)

    He’ll keep Gates at DoD for perhaps 6 months or so — until the plan for leaving Iraq is inked. But the Deputy will be an Obama appointment likely to move up. (This morning’s news is interesting, Russia has announced they favor the extension of the Coalition Mandate through the UN for a few months as it would not be good to suddenly remove US forces Jan 1. This leaves to Obama the negotiation of a SOFA. Dan Schorr talked about it on NPR, with interesting historical parallels.) But the fact that Gates stays doesn’t mean Obama ultimately doesn’t have to appoint a Defense Team.

    I think he really wants to appoint Richard Lugar at State — badly, and I think Lugar might actually be good at the job. Remember, he is the one who once flew off to Manila, and talked Marcos out of the country. Lugar is also an organization freak, nearly invented the idea of Metro Government when he was Mayor of Indianapolis. This would allow him to put Nunn in as Deputy Secretary for disarmament and non-proliferation, and this is core Obama agenda stuff, and absolutely critical to dealing with Iran issues. I think we see the return of Samantha Powers, either at State or as a specialized delegate to the UN dealing with Humanitarian issues. (She got canned for dissing Hillary’s campaign, and that’s now irrelevant.) She could head AID, for instance.

    Obama’s top National Security Advisor has been Tony Lake, who, if you remember got scrubbed by the Republicans in 1996 when Clinton tried to name him to head CIA. So I see Lake moving to National Intelligence Director. (a little thumb in the eyeball). For the past year I have been off and on reading Larry Johnson’s stuff trying to figure what is really behind his Obama Hateful writings — I think it is Lake. Johnson was up to his eyeballs in scrubbing Lake’s nomination to CIA — why, not sure, but Lake fits Obama’s style. (as FDR said about someone, “I like the cut of his Jib.”) Oh yea, I see Steve Simon and Daniel Benjamin as appointees in National Security — WH staff or one of the agency positions. Susan Rice will have a major Foreign Policy position, and I will add the name Susan Eisenhower to the mix. She led the string of Foreign Policy Republicans moving to Obama.

    I’ve got Robert Reich underscored half a dozen times but which Department??? Secretary of the Treasury? Commerce? don’t know — but an economic position for sure, and something to do with recovery. Maybe WH Staff??? Reich was not present during the Florida meeting on the bailout policy, but was authorized to do interviews as an Obama advisor both before and afterwards — I think he was hooked up by phone link to the Florida meeting. After the bill finally passed, he was shut down, no more interviews. Anything about bail-out comes from the Campaign press releases (not much) or from Congress. Very smart. Give McCain nothing to shoot at. Let him aim at Chris Dodd and Barney Frank.

    Apparently the origin of Obama’s health care package is Jim Cooper of Tennessee. He is not beloved of Ted Kennedy, who is apparently “writing his bill” while getting his chemo — and Ted is also organizing big time. (Cooper supposedly is overprotective of the insurance industry.) I think it is going to be very difficult for Obama to put a Health leadership team together with this huge fracture — a fracture he can’t afford if he wants to accomplish something. I suggested to Amy Klobuchar that she consider putting one name in the mix, Mike Osterholm — I am not sure for what position, he was our State Epidemologist for years, and is close to Gore. Center for Disease Control maybe — perhaps something at NIH. Yes, Yes she says — a perfect appointment. HHS secretary — no, don’t think so, but we’ll see. Mike’s great skill is doing public health on TV in such a way that when he finishes explaining the problem, everyone lines up and does what is recommended. He gets trust based in understanding of the science behind public health practice.

    Some suggest that former Governor Hunt of NC will get Secretary of Education — he seems to be in near total agreement with Obama on policy, and I’ve seen the suggestion in a number of independent places. The only other suggestion I’ve seen is Bill Daley — but while I am sure Obama will have a place for Bill Daley, I don’t think this is it. Bill Daley was on the same board at one point with Bill Ayres — and I suspect anyone connected with that will be out for an obvious appointment.

    I’ve got a big Question Mark after Howard Dean. Obama really owes him big time in ways that are hard to count. He settled the mess with Hillary’s delegates to the convention masterfully, he created so much of the state by state base that merged into the Obama base campaign, and gave up ownership once the nomination was clear. But where to put him so he is inside the tent pissing out, instead of outside pissing in? Labor maybe? He might be go at things like mine safety and OSHA regulation. He might even be good at SEC — remember before he went to Medical School he was a stockbroker. I’ve got the same problem with Wesley Clark — great skills, but where to put him usefully? Deputy Secretary of Defense for Procurement??? And what about someone like Richard Holbrooke? Do you send him to Pakistan to straighten things out? Ambassador to Afghanistan?

    Aside from Lugar and Cooper — I don’t see many appointments from Congress. Obama is going to keep his friends there to help along his program. At lower levels, he may appoint hill staffers with special expertise — but I don’t think many currently serving members will be appointed.

    If Obama moves quickly on a Green Agenda — partially as job creation, partly as a component of a Global Warming Agenda, partially as an energy independence agenda — who gets Secretary of Energy? It is one of the most critical departments should Obama move on these matters — but it is also one of the most problem riddled departments in Government. It is totally hollowed out as a result of outsourcing everything to private companies, as of now it has two long term interests, Nuclear stuff, including its role in weapons — and the oil-coal interests. But it owns the National Labs, and if anything is going to go forward, they need new missions and roles. So do you go with a science/technology type, or a crackerjack administrator with good political creds? An awful lot depends on this appointment. Any ideas???

    I’ll review my lists and see if I have additional guesses — but everyone can join this game.

    • Ishmael says:

      Nothing for Al Gore and Bill Clinton to do? I don’t see either of them in a distinct job that would need Senate approval, and neither would want to be in a position where they could be targeted for “scandals” in their areas of responsibility by a bitter Republican rump and tied down with administrative duties, but for Gore especially there must be a role on energy/environmental issues, and Bill Clinton has enormous credibility in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Gore as “Ambassador to Kyoto Successor”? Bill as Superambassador?

      • Sara says:

        Ishmael, I can see Gore being a very close advisor to Obama around the whole nexus of problems I see at Energy — and DoE will be the lead agency in much of what needs to be accomplished on all the tracks. The department is a total mess — it was not in that good shape when Clinton left, and it has since been totally hollowed.

        But I don’t think Gore wants a job. He has a whole new career as a public advocate, and in TV and in finance — and I see no reason why he should give any of it up. He can probably accomplish more with his independence and his potential for advocacy as anyone in semi-public life than he could in an official job. In fact, if Obama doesn’t seize opportunities, Gore can call him out — and I hope he does that if necessary. Just imagine the shivers that would go through the WH if it were announced “Gore is mounting another slide show!”

    • bmaz says:

      Eric Holder is an awful choice for DOJ, although I agree he looks to have a solid hold on the inside track. There needs to be a lot of healing at DOJ and a lot of team rebuilding. Holder is a dick, and he is fractious. Last time he was at DOJ there was a awfully large group of people there that couldn’t stand him. And, most importantly, he is seriously in the tank for every shitbag giant evil corporation around.

      Janet Napolitano is the right, really almost perfect, choice for DOJ; so Obama will appoint Holder.

      • Sara says:

        Eric Holder was in line for the AG job had Gore won in 2000. While I doubt if the Clinton faction appreciated his early attachment to the Obama campaign (he was one of Obama’s first campaign consultants/staff) I think you have to look at the Campaign as in part an example of his organizational skills. You also have to see him as the pivotal figure in the network in which Obama was a peer not so many months ago, and which has grown just huge over the last year advising and protecting the campaign.

        Whoever takes the AG’s job will be faced quickly with dealing with a host of major fraud cases stemming from the economic melt-down. Congress itself will certainly be doing the hearings and pointing to potential targets. We’ve got one that is just emerging now in Minnesota — Hedge Fund Operator charged with Three Billion in Fraud, taking down a whole group of industries, including Sun Country Airlines which was forced into bankruptcy. Apparently cases like this are scattered everywhere. And yes, they will be handled by the USA for the most part, but many of these are international cases and Main Justice will have to engage. My own sense of what will return DoJ to health is a new focus on cases where large segments of the public have been harmed — properly preparing and winning some of these, and then with a new slate of personnel evolving a better culture. What’s hurt them has been fake cases — emphasis on voter fraud (which hardly exists) over emphasis on slightly potential over hyped terrorism cases, not having bright lines regarding politics and the policy of DoJ, and all those light weights from Regents University. I think Obama will be very sensitive to significant improvements at DoJ.

        • bmaz says:

          Agree with all that. But the second paragraph is exactly why I think Holder is such a poor choice for the job. As to every potential issue you list, and many more, Janet Napolitano would be an infinitely better choice. She tackled massive business fraud cases as AZ AG, including this one on the Baptist Foundation, which she personally shepherded through initial investigation and criminal prosecution. She is also a remarkable team builder and motivator; which cannot be said about Holder, he is actually pretty bad in those categories.

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