November 22nd, 2008
12:00 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama's vetting could chase away candidates

President-elect Barack Obama's transition team is subjecting prospective employees to rigorous vetting.
President-elect Barack Obama's transition team is subjecting prospective employees to rigorous vetting.

(CNN) - When it comes to vetting potential high-level advisers, is President-elect Barack Obama too cautious for his own good?

As a presidential candidate, the former Illinois senator quickly adopted the nickname "No Drama Obama" for the meticulous level of prudence he applied to nearly every campaign speech, strategy decision and personnel appointment. The result was a nearly two-year-long presidential bid most notable for its seeming lack of a damaging gaffe or embarrassing misstep.

But some political observers say the president-elect's similar caution with respect to recruiting new administration officials and key high-level advisers may be turning away a string of qualified candidates wary of subjecting themselves and their families to the most rigid presidential vetting process on record.

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (126 Responses)
  1. We're NOT "your friends"!!!

    This story is BS. The standards that this country has accepted for our lawmakers over the past 20 years has put this country in the toilet. It's about time we started getting the best and brightest people in these offices so maybe we can get this country back on track to where it should be; Leading the World.

    November 22, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  2. vic

    Better to heavily vet than to end up being surprised.
    Stop doubting and worrying about Obamas way of doing things – it's all good and above board.
    Course, I guess we're just not use to honesty in Washington and are still getting use to the idea. :)

    November 22, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  3. Lim

    This is just a smoke screen to fool the lemmings and Kool-Aid drinkers.

    November 22, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  4. Bill in PA

    If candidates can't stand up to the vetting process then they are not qualified in total. We've had enough of drama from people in politics who's personal lives are a train wreck. I'm seriously disappointed that Obama is considering the drama queen for Secretary of State. How many times will she claim to be landing under fire in the next coming years. Enough is enough already.

    November 22, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  5. Terry

    Well cry me a river! This president is going to do things his way...it doesn't matter what all the whiners and complainers say! Good for him, what a breath of fresh air...it is going to fun to watch.

    November 22, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  6. ca. progressive dem

    This isn't news–it's common sense. If you're going to take a high profile job with the President, then you owe it to him to come clean or get out of dodge. Oh yeah, the nitwits in the press can't find any dirt on him, so they pick on his apparent infallibility and lack of skeletons in the proverbial closet?

    November 22, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  7. LisaB

    Yeah, hey, let's all take the vetting process as a joke so we can end up with more Sarah Palins! WOOO HOOOOO!

    NOT!

    Obama is the first black prez, is there really a such thing as being too careful?!
    I think not people...

    November 22, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  8. Barbara Reinard

    ALEXANDER mOONEY surely you are kidding-The article seems like
    you need to dig deeper for a worthy story. Why not go to Regent Univ.
    maybe those Attorneys hired from there should have been vetted.

    November 22, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  9. Ilona Hussein Proud Canadian

    Democrats Unite

    YES! YES! YES!

    I agree 100% with you. If these potential White House
    high level employees cannot handle the heat, they
    should STAY OUT OF THE KITCHEN, surely if they
    refuse to be properly VETTED, it leads one to believe
    THAT THEY HAVE SOMETHING TO HIDE, SOMETHING
    THAT THEY ARE AFRAID WILL EXPOSE THEM TO
    REDICULE!

    BARACK'S TRANSITION TEAM IS RIGHT IN VETTING,
    AND VETTING THOROUGHLY. The U.S. CANNOT
    AFFORD ANY BOOGEY MEN COMING BACK TO BITE
    THEM!

    November 22, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  10. kelly WI

    I thought he didn't like lobbyists. Then he goes and picks Daschle.
    Boggles the mind.
    The 3 richest Senators are dems. Kerry, Kohl and Kennedy.
    Inherited and married.
    I laugh at the term "Public Servants". Power brokers should be the term. Amazing how they come in average and end up multy millonaires.

    November 22, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  11. ron

    E.C.Coleman

    who is dumber than you. if you wait around long enough Obama might make another small mistake that really doesnt matter and you can jump all over that too. Dont bother mentioning any of the hundreds of great things he will do.
    Maybe you should just shut up you clown.

    November 22, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  12. Amber

    Are you kidding? This is the thing I admire the MOST about Obama!

    The fact that he's putting together a team of Untouchables shows that he means business.

    November 22, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  13. Rose

    Too bad Obama wasn't vetted the same way he is vetting his candidates. I am betting there would be a lot of dirt that would come out. Too many things that he has not provided regarding his past. Where are his records from Columbia, his original birth certificate, Mcihelle's thesis and on and on. He may not be in this position if he had been fully vetted.

    November 22, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    We don't need more crooks running the country. If they can't handle the vetting process for some of the most powerful positions in the country then maybe they are hiding something. Kudos to the transition team. Keep up the good work.

    November 22, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  15. james in s.c.

    GOOD!!! let him keep vetting those want the job in his cabinet. he not like GWB who shoe in his friends, remember gonzales, meyers, and of of his crooked buddies that lies and flushed this country down in the toilet....Obama will not have THAT!!!! i'm so glad i voted for "that one"!

    November 22, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  16. Jacqueline in Missouri

    Ha, now people are complaining that there is nothing to complain about! Gossip mongers must be so dissapointed......

    November 22, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  17. CAW in MD

    @ E.C.Coleman,

    You are incorrect, sir/madam - if he had no character, then he wouldn't have called to apologize. And nobody can know the innermost thoughts of another person - oftentimes the person in question doesn't know.

    The fact that Obama does have character and integrity is borne out by the story you should theoretically be commenting on - a rigorous vetting process trying to keep people of questionable character or integrity out of his administration.

    November 22, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  18. History Repating

    E.C Cocoleman

    Yeah you,
    Leave Mrs Reagan ( notice the 1st vowel after the 'R' ,..thats where you sound like 'dubya'), out of this. She's not in your league.

    Change has come to America, ..get out and take a look around ya

    November 22, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  19. Onigbese

    I guess "We" the "American People" are familier with Vicarious liability. The Pres-Elect Obama just trying to be careful.

    November 22, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  20. Sanity has Returned

    Obama is doing what is necessary to make sure his Adm is above reproach. WE have enough to do to start fixing the messes without the Media resorting to punditry reporting instead of the real news, like the war and this economy.

    November 22, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  21. Jeff in Portland

    Yeah – good call. Let's just go with the tried and true Bush method of "If I've had a beer with the person, they're good enough for me."

    What a ridiculous story.

    November 22, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  22. Save the drama, do your thing Obama

    I cosign with all of those who, just like me, wish to keep crooks from high level position in the new administration. If you cant stand the heat, stay outta the kitchen....I mean really, this guy promises an open access, no frills type approach to running the country and some folks act as if this is a crime. Didnt he not say that he was going to do this while on the campaign trail? For those who wish things were just a walk in a park, think back to the last almost 8yrs under the Bush Administration. Keep doin' your thing Obama! We got your back!

    November 22, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  23. Dixie AZ

    After some of the scandals that have dirtied Washington, I'm thankful that PE Obama is making a thorough check. If prospective members of his presidential staff or cabinet have something to hide, we're better off without them.

    November 22, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  24. Joseph Adewole

    "Only the best is good for Obama", if you have a skeleton in your cupboard, you better say it out. Obama will not want to regret any appointment he makes....The vetting is good as far as transparency is concerned; If Obama tip you for a post and you know what you have down under will discredit Obama....you better chase yourself before you are chased out.
    He is doing the right thing.

    November 22, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  25. happy thanksgiving

    that's ok obama, go ahead and vet , look what happened to the republicans when they chose not to vet their vp.

    November 22, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
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