November 22nd, 2008
12:00 PM ET
11 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.

Full story

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (126 Responses)
  1. FreeNLovIt

    He can hire anyone he wants to. Ultimately, he makes the final decisions.

    November 22, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  2. Barbara CA

    When there is no real news the media just makes stuff up. I am not the only person who does not enjoy being talked down to about President-elect Obama's process for getting the best people possible in his team. He is doing an amazing job and we know it! He is thoughtfully building a team (in his own time) to get America out of this economic mess. If the media has nothing intelligent to say they should just do us a favor and "Shut Up"!

    November 22, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  3. Ann

    I guess Obama must be doing something right because no matter what ,his adoring fanbase will never find fault in anything he ever does. Why didn't you put Obama to the same test you now expect him to put others through? Oh, I forgot you were too busy excusing him for saying he would vote against the Fisa bill before he voted for it, or being against off shore drilling before he changed his mind, or ridiculing others for their long years of experience in gov.'t and not bringing change yet picking Biden as his VP and most of the Clinton administartion so far. I guess we can look forward to your excuses now about dems all protesting the political office of Rove in the White House and now Obama is going to keep it operational too. Will the real Obama please come forth before the swearing in.

    November 22, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  4. rosher32

    Not enough vetting ....too much vetting .....To many questions...not enough questions. 21st Century America.

    Obama does not have much room for error. It appears to me that the current administration did not do enough vetting. As long as you were " one of the boys" YOu were in. We put up with ur guy for eight years. Lets try something different. " Give Obama a Chance ".

    November 22, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  5. However long it takes

    However long it takes to get decent, un-corrupted, dedicated officials into President Elect Obama's fine

    We the People KNOW there are alot of BAD APPLES, CHARLATANS and EGOMANIACS and PARTY SNAKES in the business of Govt.

    Their days are numbered....

    Americans for a real future....know it begins with the arrest and indictment of Bush and Cheney.

    November 22, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  6. BTGH, Streamwood, IL

    Better a strict, thorough vetting than the kind the GOP uses. Don't want any Sarah Palin-types slipping through the cracks.

    November 22, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  7. Eric Timothy

    Vett obama vett. If McCain would have done this he might have been the President Elect. Thank you Sarah you rock!

    November 22, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  8. Jeanne from AZ

    Haven't we had enough crooks and people in it for what they can get out of government service when they go back into the private sector. If you have something to hide go away.

    November 22, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  9. Craig a Texas Democrat

    Had the Bush Admin been vetted properly some of these clowns wouldnt be in the positions they are in now.

    November 22, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  10. G.R.I.T.S - Girl Raised in the South

    There should be stringet vetting requirements. Anyone who says otherwise is naive. And for those who keep saying we know so little about P.E. Obama, read a book. I know everything I need to know about this man from listening, researching, and reading his books.

    November 22, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  11. unfairness doctrine

    I sure wish Obama had been vetted by the voters like he is vetting his appointee's. Apparently it didnt matter who he hung out with or was buddies with. To have a close friend like Ayers would be like McCain would have been like McCain have been friend with Timothy McVeigh. I wonder if Larry Sinclair has stuffed Obama's turkey Yet?

    November 22, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  12. Coultergeist

    Gee, he's being picky as to whom he chooses to help him run the country? The nerve!!! He should just call up his friends who he owes favors to and give them the position. There, done.

    What a sad state of affairs, when being educated, intelligent and caring about who to give extremely important jobs to is looked at badly.

    November 22, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  13. question

    isn't that the point of "vetting"

    November 22, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  14. MEP

    No one likes nasty surprises and mayny peoples' closets have at least one.

    November 22, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  15. Sarge in Florida

    Paul Hackett what the heck else more do you need to know about Obama with your trashy statement. Maybe he just doesn't have anything to hide like others may. I don't fault him on his strict vetting process. He has a great deal of pressure on him. After all he will be the First Black President that has to clean up the 8 years of Bush and he will watched like a hawk. And if he screws up the media hounds will attack him like a pack of Pit bulls. Go Obama, you will be in my prayers. GOD did answer my prayers when I asked him to let you beat the heck out of McShame and the Moose killer...Paul it's people like you who spread hate in this world. You will have to answer to the Main MAN above one day. I hope you can repent your hate.

    November 22, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  16. JT from TN

    He seems to be trying to prevent a disaster or the criticism from the media or not draw a lot of attention. But as President you're in the spotlight regaurdless who you are or where you are.

    November 22, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  17. Donald Gordon, Ontario, CA

    Good, if these prospective Cabinet members don't like the extensive vetting process, they probably have somethingto hide, and if that is the case, they probably won't have the nation's best interests at heart. I think Obama's process is great, it will help keep a lot of the corrupt people out of his administration, so he could better serve the people. Keep up the good work, Barack!

    November 22, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  18. joseph

    Vetting is good. Look who we almost had for VP and now even wants to run for Pres. I just shiver at the thought that she could have had the nuclear code at her disposal. Vetting is good and I rest my case.

    November 22, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  19. (Former) Lifelong Republican for Obama, Columbia, TN

    I strongly disagree with the claim that Obama's vetting could chase away people. I like the fact that Obama is heavily thinking about each person he brings on board.

    November 22, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  20. RB

    Every single move Obama has made has been right.

    Maybe if McCain had done his homework he wouldn't be sitting home watching TV today.

    This is not a negative thing, but a positive, so CNN why are you twisting to seem bad?

    November 22, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  21. JT from TN

    I'm glad to see Obama taking the job serious we ain't had that in a long time....sincve reagan!!!!!!!!

    November 22, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  22. Joe - Chicago, IL

    Yes, some talented people will not be interested in going through the vetting process. However, in this current time of complete cynicism towards our govornment, it is a very neccessary move on Obama's part to ensure every member of his cabinent is squeaky clean. He's not only got to fix the economic mess left behind from the Reagan and Bush years, he has to fix the govornment credability mess left behind since Nixon and even earlier.

    November 22, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  23. Beckster


    November 22, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  24. keekers


    I think you're the only one that doesn't "know" anything about Obama.

    Remove the anger, your candidate lost fair and square. You can learn plenty if you're willing to read and listen.

    November 22, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  25. Linda

    I think this is the right thing to do. If people do not want the scrutiny, they should not serve in his Cabinet. Also, to Illinois2, the bad things you keep hearing about him are just the products of the hate pipline that just keeps spewing lies. Be a good citizen and support our President-Elect even if you didn't vote for him. Many of us had to do this for the last 8 years, and I actually agreed with some of Bush's decisions on immigration reform. The sooner you give up the mistrust, the better off you will be...give the new man a chance!

    November 22, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6