November 20th, 2008
05:50 PM ET
6 years ago

Schneider: A sign of new politics?

 Emanuel met with Republicans on Capitol Hill Thursday.
Emanuel met with Republicans on Capitol Hill Thursday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - What's the significance of Obama sending Rahm Emanuel to meet with Republican leaders of Congress?

It's one more piece of evidence that President-elect Obama intends to pursue a new kind of politics.

President-elect Obama reaches out to his former rival Hillary Clinton to be his secretary of state.

He meets with John McCain to discuss issues they agree on. Obama described that meeting between his former opponent as "a good conversation about how we can do some work together to fix up the country."

The President-elect advises Senate Democrats not to be too harsh on Joe Lieberman for being disloyal to the party. Lieberman, the 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee, is now a Independent Senator who is allied with the Democrats. But Lieberman was a major supporter of Republican John McCain during the presidential campaign and there were many Democrats who were hoping Lieberman would be punished for those actions by the loss of his chairmanship of the powerful Homeland Security Committee. Lieberman kept the chairmanship, and credited Obama, saying "I know that my colleagues in the Senate Democratic Caucus were moved not only by what Senator Reid (the Senate Majority Leader) said about my longtime record, but by the appeal from President-elect Obama himself that the nation unite now to confront our very serious problems."

Now Obama sends the man he's named as his White House Chief of Staff to meet with Republican leaders of Congress.

Emanuel said he hopes the meetings will spread "good will for ideas from both parties to solve challenges."

Could this be the new kind of politics Obama promised to bring to Washington?

"Understand, if we want to meet the challenges of this moment, we need to get beyond the old ideological debates and divides between left and right," said Obama on November third, the day before the presidential election.

Obama will not be the first President who set out to end the red-versus-blue divide that has defined American politics since the 1960s. Bill Clinton called himself a New Democrat and promised a third way. George W. Bush talked about "compassionate conservatism" and said he would be a uniter and not a divider.

But the two Baby Boomer presidents ended up being defined by the cultural divide. Clinton by his liberal values - gun control, gays in the military, abortion rights - more than his centrist policies. Bush by his conservatism more than his compassion.

Obama was born at the tail end of the Baby Boom. The new generation he brings to power – some call it "Generation O’’ - does not identify with the left-right battles of the sixties.

In his book, "The Audacity of Hope," Obama writes about moving beyond "the psychodrama of the Baby Boom generation, a tale rooted in old grudges and revenge plots hatched on a handful of college campuses long ago."

It was Hillary Clinton who ran as the tough partisan fighter, saying "If I tell you I will fight for you, that is exactly what I intend to do."

Obama's style is different. Not partisan or ideological like the Baby Boomers. Obama's style is casual, cool, connected, like Generation O: the "Whazzup, dude?" approach to politics.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (119 Responses)
  1. BTGH, Streamwood, IL

    Finally we will have a president who recognizes that there is value in the other party's views and input.

    Sounds like a BIG change to me.

    November 20, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  2. tyler (portland, OR)

    First, Daniel Cabrera from Indiana Is an idiot. Would you have wrather had McCain elected? Would that have solved your little apocolyptic fantasy? No, actually would have manifested it. Think about it.

    Second, Obama is smart. The people he's picking are smart. Bush was dumb, and everyone around him was either dumb or insane. So logic would dictate that things are going to be good with Obama if things where bad with Bush.

    In this world of politics Its not me vs. you anymore, its just us vs. us.

    November 20, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  3. Michael

    Texas Lady,

    I was born and raised in Texas.....unfortunately, it's extremist, uneducated attitudes like what you've shown that prevent me from every moving back (even though mom keeps asking). I am amazed at how some posters here seem to be genuinely frightened by an incoming President who will approach governing in a manner other than the hate-filled garbage propogated by the far left and the far right. A pox on all of them.

    November 20, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  4. nom deplume

    New and bipartisan politics from "Rahmbo"???? I'll believe it when I see it.

    November 20, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  5. Ken

    You tell 'em Schneider. Hitler needed a propaganda specialist too!!

    November 20, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  6. caribbean admirer of OBAMA

    hey you daniela cabrera you know something the day they let you and your cochino family into the country they let the TROJAN HORSE in. God forgive you for making this kind of no sense BS and I know for sure that you and your family will be the first to thank the PE for rescating you from your misery.

    November 20, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  7. Concerned Texan

    Texas Lady said: "It wasn't an olive branch, it was a 2 x 4 to let the Reps know that it doesn't matter what conservatives think, it will be all far left wing – and if they argue, then off with their heads.

    Cuba wanted change in 1959 – look what they got. The good ole US wanted change – and it's time to start looking for ways to heil to the new ruler."

    I will pay the 1st person on this blog to explain to me what this post implies. Perhaps this was intended for another subject matter? Help me here!!! What does 1959 have to do with Pres. elect Obama?

    November 20, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  8. Carol

    Daniel Cabrera – when the walls stop talking to you, see if you can find the yellow pill you've obviously misplaced.

    November 20, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  9. Milhouse van Houten

    I'm going to really enjoy what most of the GOP supporters who post on these blogs are going to say if the new President actually turns out to be a success.Something most are not even willing to tolerate.
    It is these kind of mind-sets that keep the state of the country in disarray.After this last disaster of an administration,you would think people would at least be looking for a bright spot to turn the country around.

    November 20, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  10. Paul C.

    Good for Obama! Again he proves time and time again why I voted for him and why I believe he will be a terrific president. He is exactly what this country needs and I thank God for it every day! Aaron of Maryland, dude stop wearing that tin foil hat, everyone's laughing at the absolute flaky ridiculous long since been debunked nonsense that you just put out. Try knowing facts before you come out and make yourself look like a wacked out fool.

    November 20, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  11. Victor

    Even as we speak, some are expressing concerns over how President-elect Obama intends to implement the CHANGE he promised when he has selected known faces from the past for cabinet positions. Well, it's important to note that CHANGE does not mean selecting new and unknown faces for positions. CHANGE is a concept, it's a different way of getting things done, CHANGE is reflected in the policies. So no matter who he selects, he sets the agenda.

    November 20, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  12. Debbie

    Emanuel is the real Pit-Bull. Because he looks like he is going to get stuff done!

    I SO hope CHuck Hagel is in the administration somewhere!

    November 20, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |


    November 20, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  14. GM

    So Obama is going to reach out to the whole world and solve all of its problems through mediation? Good luck! So what was Al Qaeda's response to this new strategy? A racial slur aimed at Obama. A reminder about the kind of people Obama is dealing with.

    November 20, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  15. Michele/ Independent

    Whatzzup dude? politics.....I have never been so terrified for myself and our country...God save us all !

    November 20, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  16. v girl

    All I have to say is these comments prove the world is full of crazy people and why is it that all the anti Obama comments are full of improper grammer and poor use of the English language. Is it a testiment to their intelligence?

    November 20, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  17. GAVIN

    Change, really! Press-ops of no consequence do not disguise the fact that his cabinet is packed with strongly liberal, partisan, Washington insiders. Emmanuel in the forefront of that category. As in the campaign, it is near MachiAVELLIAN public policy manipulation, by his ever loyal lapdog, the mainstream media.

    No lobbyists, well as long as not when they join me.
    Change, with all the same people. Daschle is change.

    The facts you present constitute change? Meet with people, put names out there. Tells everyone to play nice. Send his main guy to talk to the other side. WOW. If this article were anymore detached from reality (let alone blatantly bias) it would start with once upon a time.

    November 20, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  18. zak

    so far Obama admin is looking good

    November 20, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  19. Tom

    Anyone who criticizes Barack before he even gets into office can never and will never be satisfied or happy with him.

    These are the people who will vote for someone solely on the fact they have and (R) after their name. These are the people who still think the Republican party as it is now is doing a good job.

    Why argue with those who criticize someone before they even start. You can't graft a new idea on closed minds.

    November 20, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  20. Bob

    Shrimp Barnicles: Gates will stay on; that is one GOP.

    Obama is doing a good job in creating his team, however he needs to get his economic team together yesterday to appease the markets.

    November 20, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  21. Kakete John

    Well well well. Some people just decide that they will never be pleased. When one has such a mindset, he will see evil and problems everywhere. There are those who are chronically myopic, and who think that PE Obama has to fix the current problems by just snapping his fingers like a magician.

    Goooooo slooooooow. The current problems came through a process, and the solutions will come through another processs. Processes can never be hurried.

    Those who want the Obama administration to fail, will see failure even in success. All they dream of is failure. Wake up, this is a new chapter.Looooosers.

    Do you know how old you are? and do you remember when you were a baby?.Why do you blame babies for not running?. Give process its time to work. PE Obama we will support you all way. This is just the beginning of a fundamental change, one that is going to get the rotten apples out of the basket.
    Keep it up Obama.


    November 20, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  22. Dr.Mimi De La Cruz









    November 20, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  23. Richard A. Spomer

    More Liberal Stance in some eyes!!!

    November 20, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  24. Allen in Hartwell, GA

    It's amazing the difference that a diplomat and gentleman can bring to the White House. If the likes of Senator Lindsey Graham, who vowed to fight Obama "tooth and nail" can get over their problems with Obama, maybe we can have a government that works for the people.

    November 20, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  25. Bob

    I am struck by the difference in tone on this CNN website. If you read the comments on the Bush story, you would think he was an ax murderer and then this story paints Obama as the Savior of the World. Do we really think that Obama is that good? I was thinking that this site was a little more centrist.

    November 20, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
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