November 20th, 2008
05:50 PM ET
12 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. LMC in Seattle

    Is there something wrong with picking people with great experience and knowlege? I think Barack Obama faces issues calmly and pragmatically, something we have needed for at least the last 8 years! I don't think we have to worry about him making up reasons to go to war with countries!

    November 20, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  2. M M B

    Obama does not have time to train total 'newbies', he needs experienced hands 'at the wheel' of all major departments the moment he is in office. At this time we cannot afford the normal luxury of several months for appointees to come up to speed. Bush and most of his administration are putting everything on hold, so the situation will be even more dire by Jan 20.
    Really, if Obama had choosen a slate of inexperienced people, just for the sake of change, the whole country would have been knocking his 'stupidity!

    November 20, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  3. ET from Omaha

    Who will provide unemployment benefits to the 3 millions that will lose their job if the Auto industry went bankrupt without a bailout?
    How many more houses will be lost because people can not pay their mortgages? How much does the government has to spend to provide healcare to these 3 millions out of job? The list is too long.
    Answer: The tax payer and money that will never be regain.
    How much will the government spend to provide income for these 2 or 3 millions? 25 billion or How much?
    Folks use your brain not Ideology.
    We need to loan them the money but with a lot of string attached.
    They need to retool, produce more hybrid and be environment friendly.
    Are europeans smarter than americans? Read the news they doing the same thing in europe without any compromise of the free market.

    November 20, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  4. Jean, Uniondale, New York

    @Daniel Indiana....

    WOW!!! You sound like a crazy wacko!!! Exactly what is your problem????????

    Reading some of these blogs you would think that Obama is some alien from another planet, the last time I checked he is a HUMAN BEING!!!



    cnn please post...thank you.

    November 20, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  5. Texas Teacher

    There's a new day coming to this country... and it will begin on Jan. 20th! At the risk of sounding a mite redundant.... I said Barack Obama is the man with the plan.... the man for the job at hand! 🙂 I have complete confidence in our New President!

    November 20, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  6. Michael -Ventura,CA

    One thing about President-elect Obama, you can trust him to keep his word.He is NOT smoke and mirrors as these republiCANTs imply.
    'All these people who have already condemed him before he even akes the Oath are just the normal fear & smear right wing-nuts who have had their way for far too long! Your day is done and CHANGE is going to come!
    President Obama--I can't wait until 1/20/09!

    November 20, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |

    another question that bothers me is what happened to not having lobbyists diving into his administration? these vultures are making there way right into the cabinet... a health care lobbyist is the Head of Health Care........ can someone explain this and this guys wife is a leading lobbyist in washington...

    November 20, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  8. Republican for change

    I find it amazing when some right-wing nuts are asking where is the change when Obama appoints a person from Clinton's administration.

    The economy was FLOURISHING under Clinton's presidency. You keep what works and fix the problems created by your dumbo Messiah Bush kapeesh?

    November 20, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  9. gregg

    my messiah will do the right thing. he brings us all hope,, he brings us peace , among wars,, he heals our sins,, he is our god,,,, he is the chosen,,,, believe in him ,, and he shall rule forever bow to our god ,,,

    November 20, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  10. NoName

    Can't wait for Jan 20th. It doesn't seem to come fast enuf. God what an Idiot. I don't know how we could have elected this idiot for 2 terms.

    November 20, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  11. Amy

    @Jeanette, Uniondale, NY

    I agree with you 100%!!!!

    November 20, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  12. DAVE IN CA

    where is the treasury secretary that obama is going ot announce? time is running out on paulson and somebody had better get there and spend the other 350 Billion... interesting just saw a timeline of this plunge into obscurity thanks to wall street and freddie and fannie..... i.e. FRANK, DODD, PELOSI, WATERS... since the bailout and governments take over and not letting the market close the door on failing companies the market is a straight shot down.... stop bailing people out and if they deserve to go under let it take it's course.......the more government intervention the more this economy is going to freeze up and markets collapse.....

    November 20, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  13. Zaga

    To all you fool you is worried about Obama being like Cuba and Hitler, you guys are dumm, study your history.
    All communist countries are ruled two type of people, RIGHT WING BELIEVES, and MILITARY GENERAL or MILITARY PERSONAL, and Obama is none of those, can't say the same about any of his opponents.

    November 20, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  14. johnathan

    I.m voted for Obama and am black.... He talked about change and he lied to us all.... He is appointing nothing but the same old washington insiders including Clinton.... Where are the latinos? He has lost my vote next election and I hope that latinos votes against him as well.... Change you can believe in? Obama lied

    November 20, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  15. Peter (CA)

    And the right wingers keep foaming at the mouth....

    Obama is making all the right moves. He is reaching out as he should and putting together a coalition. I see the right wingers getting all bent out of shape regarding his cabinet picks but what is wrong with experienced people. You would all be howling if he chose neophytes.

    Republicans are definitely invited to be a part of the change but if they just intend to obstruct, they will have to pay for that also. Why shouldn't Obama set the agenda? Bush only beat Kerry by 2 or 3 pts. and declared he had "political capital" and a "mandate".

    Let's get real: both sides have failed us. The banking crisis has its roots deep on both sides. It's going to take both sides to fix it.

    November 20, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  16. Peter (CA)

    Yeah, johnathan, right.

    November 20, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  17. Black like Me ... Not

    " Johnathan" wrote ...

    I.m voted for Obama and am black…. He talked about change and he lied to us all…. He is appointing nothing but the same old washington insiders including

    – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    Who are you kidding? You are not black and you didn't vote for Obama. You are no different than those guys that lie about how big they are over the internet ... we're not that stupid.

    Obama is outperforming every newly elected President and no self respecting Republican black man ... even the ones that voted against him ... would be condeming the brother yet.

    Eric Holder is a BRILLIANT choice for AG. The most qualified person for the job, hands down. No reasonable person could have a problem with him.

    As far as Latinos go ...the Mayor of Miami is being considered for HUD and you need to stop buying all the hype about Secretary of State ... I happen to think Richardson runs circles around Clinton.

    If you keep your mouth shut, you might just end up with a Latina on the Supreme Court.

    November 20, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  18. Marie

    To all the people on this site that comment how much they hate Obama can you give one good reason why you feel the way you express your comment about him and what facts do you conclude your reasons other than what you have read or heard through the media.As a black woman I never had a choice as a democrat but to vote for a white candidate for president but reading some of these comments previous and current the tones only sounds racial.I feel sorry for those who continue to embrace hate towards another person's color regardless of your race.Is this what you teach your children and grandchildren.It's ok to have a black teacher or a black nanny for your kids but not a black president.I remember during the election the media was saying that alot of white would say they were voting for Obama but when they went to the polls to cast their vote they would not vote for him well guess what the media was wrong and they did vote for him and they did by the millions.This is a great country and times have changed so those of you that want to try to divide the decent american people with hate and racism stop looking back and start looking forward to a country that can unite together regardless of the color of their skin

    November 20, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  19. Tab Cocovillea

    Anyone stupid enough to complain about Obama at this early stage is not worth the time taken to respond. Give the guy a chance... and I didn't vote for him, in case anyone is wondering.

    November 21, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
1 2 3 4 5