November 20th, 2008
05:50 PM ET
9 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. bill for barack

    Of course things are going to be different under a new administration. The politics of fear, hatred, racism and division are gone.
    The politics of hope have begun.

    November 20, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  2. Deb, Allentown,PA

    Whoa, Daniel Cabrera, the big pharmaceutical companies make some great anti-psychotic meds. You may want to consult a health care professional...immediately, if not sooner.

    November 20, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  3. 60 year old white female and proud supporter of PE Obama

    And then there is good ole Mitch O who refuses to speak to Harry wonder the Republican Party is in the ditch.

    Most of the "former" Clinton employees were solid supporters of Obama right from the primaries. Working for someone does not mean you sell them your heart, soul and mind forever as Bill Richardson so clearly shown.

    These people are the ones who beleieve in Obama's change and have the knowledge and experience to bring it about!! Craig, Daschele and Holder are the three prime examples.

    November 20, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  4. Mike in Dallas

    To Daniel Cabrerra in Merrilville Indiana.

    After reading your post, and the others like it, I can see that all of the little crackPOTS have emerged, in full force.

    Please somebody up their medication!

    November 20, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  5. Reality

    What president elect has not sent a ranking staff member to speak to the opposition on the hill?

    Answer: none.

    Which begs the question: why is this news? Obama is not doing anything new or special. Report that.

    November 20, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  6. Chuck

    He is hiring all old liberals and Clintonites? How does that mean change?? You are insane!

    November 20, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  7. annie - never again a dem.

    The picture of pelosi and her band of outlaws on the article about the big3 – looks like the 5 faces of evil.

    November 20, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  8. Murry

    Thanks for the great write-up, Bill Schneider. I always look forward to your intelligent analysis.

    November 20, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  9. Ohio Deb

    I am very impressed so far with Presiden Elect Obama's choices. It is quite what I did expect. You far-lefters out there need not get your shorts in a twist already. The man has not been sworn in yet, and "NO" you will not get everything you desire. This is about "We The People", not SOME of the people.

    November 20, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  10. GAVIN

    I have a plan to revive the economy. Just tax all the punch people are drinking and there you go.

    November 20, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  11. Ohio Deb

    To GM:

    Who said Obama was going to reach out and solve all the world problems through mediation? I think he's smart enough to know what he's up against. What did you expect? Al Quaeda to fall down on their knees? It just might be that we may gain an inch, instead of losing miles, as we have been. Historically speaking, we have nothing to lose...

    November 20, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  12. Dorothy in NC

    I think Obama is doing the right thing by reaching out to Republicans and rivals. I think he really understands that in order to have a government that works, everyone has to work together. I think he is on the right track and we should be supporting him. God knows the incredible horror he is walking into. It'll take him years to straighten out the mess and alot of programs Obama wants to implement, thanks to George Bush leaving trillions of dollars of national debt, it will make many of them impossible for Obama.
    I think we need to cut Obama some slack and give him a break. He is doing the best he can and if he does nothing, it'll be better to have him in than the previous administration.

    November 20, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  13. jimmy

    Big 3 Auto Bail Out would be an outrage to the American People.
    Their CEO's with their high salaries, bonus perks, corporate jets, executive suites and dining rooms and mismanagement have turned the American Auto Industry to ruin. NO, NO, NO, bailout.
    They have to go bankrupt and reorganize with new leadership and management.. Either build cars , Americans want or go out of busniess..

    November 20, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  14. New Day

    Texas Lady – pick up a book, will you? There are so many holes in your Cuba comment that it would take the rest of the evening to write but, here are a few points:

    1. Castro was never elected; he came to power in a revolution
    2. Castro replaced a dictator.
    3. Cubans didn't want change, they wanted to eat.

    I understand that its nifty to repeat some sound-byte you heard in order to make you feel smart and worldly (heck, Bush made a career doing that) but, you just might wanna do some research first.

    CNN, please post

    November 20, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  15. earle,florida

    Sorry, but the only change this(Obama's) administration has made different than Clinton's is......? These two political party's are very similar, except the Democrate's," Stripes",run horizontally,whereas the Republican's,"Stripes", run vertically,and by the way, both have painted themselves into a corner. Hail all,"Emanuel".......

    November 20, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  16. Obama 08

    To "Daniel Cabrera" Thanks for giving us your location because I'm getting ready to call 911... I don't know who let you out of the asylum!!

    November 20, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  17. peter

    Thank God we are heading to the progressive country and not the concervativism and leftism government.

    Obama will be magnificient president

    November 20, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  18. Michelle

    A new sign?

    Where is the change? He's appointed more Washington insiders than Clinton and Bush.

    November 20, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  19. No Hillary = No Obama

    I wonder how long it will take before the olive branch crumbles into twigs.

    November 20, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  20. What in the world?

    All I want to know is what is Obama going to do about the real crisis in America that is affecting the entire world? What is the plan? Right or wrong liberal or conservative we are in a total free fall economy that is taking down hard working tax paying people. If people loose their jobs and their homes and foturne 400 companies can't sell their products, what is the plan?
    Enough with the Democrats vs Republicans, everyone on this blog needs to start speaking to your enemies and working on the climate on the street to save our economy.
    The election is over, go get involved and suggest some ideas instead of blindly supporting or hating a candidate that was or wasn't elected.

    November 20, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  21. Don from Maine

    Lets see-the President Elect sending his top dog to meet with the Republicans, Picking his rival Hillary Clinton as secretary of state.Be careful America you just might actually get some government that works. A government that might actually put partisan politics aside and DO SOMETHING for the people they represent. A government that is not red or blue America but for the United States of America. The audacity of hope-what a novel concept. Its time to put aside the past and get to work on the future. President Elect Obama seems ready to begin the task of rebuilding America. Yes we can and Yes we will.

    November 20, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  22. DAVE IN CA


    November 20, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  23. Paul DObro

    I think people are scared of the change because we have all been brought up by fear, opposition, and no debates. I am not idealistic, I know the realities. But is it to much to have hope, cooperation, intelligant debate?

    What Obama brings that is thoughtful decision by intellegant people who will be held accountable for their actions.

    What a change that is from the last 8 years.

    And, about CNN calling Bush an axe murderer, I guess the truth just hurts.

    November 20, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  24. Don B. from Houston

    It is always the man at the top who sets the tone. If Rahm does not do what Barak wants, I think Rahm will get the "wood shed" behind closed doors. Something tells me Barak has this all mapped out in his brain and wants capable people to carry it out. Oh, and as for Texas Lady, she must be from Crawford!

    November 20, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  25. Kalu Walter

    How I wish the next four years could be like this: nation's approval rating for the president elect in 70s and every information coming from the federal building in Chicago is being received with hands and toes, by both the press and the public.Unfortunately,the honeymoon may not last for too long,before the trials start coming.At those defining moments,this President will be judged from the lens of his actions and in-actions .Then we will all appreciate that,what makes history are mostly those factors you can hardly control....Bush never envisaged 9/11 attack,but that wholesome incident defined his administration.

    November 20, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
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