Do Americans, even in anxious times, prefer an optimistic leader or an angry one?
Obama’s just dashed any hope that he’d take a more populist tack the next two years and really confront the Republicans.
Instead, by appointing Bill Daley as chief of staff and Gene Sperling as director of the National Economic Council, Obama has gone all in with corporatist Clinton retreads from Wall Street.
Both Daley and Sperling helped ram NAFTA through. Sperling also polished up the Financial Modernization Act of 1999, which tore down Glass-Steagall and led to the Wall Street crash.
But for their work, Wall Street rewarded them. Sperling raked it in from Goldman Sachs, and Daley made millions as JP Morgan Chase’s chief lobbyist. While at Chase, by the way, Daley opposed Obama’s Financial Consumer Protection Agency and health care reform.
As Alan Grayson told Ed Schultz Thursday night, Obama’s “economic team gives the President advice that runs the span from one end of Wall Street to the other.”
Despite a couple feints toward the left, with Hilda Solis and Elizabeth Warren, Obama has always been most comfortable with the corporatists. That’s who he is, or at least who he’s become.
Now he’s nothing more than Bill Clinton without the libido, Bill Clinton with a functioning zipper.
If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story "The Cynical War on Public Sector Workers."
Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter