Well, much to the surprise of Obama’s critics, he hasn’t so far picked any Muslims or terrorists to join his Cabinet.
In fact, according to Associated Press, he’s “assembled a national security brain trust populated by graybeard establishment figures with decades of combined experience and even a few medals. ”
Consider he’s keeping Robert Gates, the very man running the Iraq and Afghan wars for the current Republican president, as his Secretary of Defense. According to Associated Press, Obama suggested that a critical era at home and abroad required strong Washington hands, but overseen by a chief executive pressing for change. “What we are going to do is combine experience with fresh thinking. But I understand where the vision for change comes from first, and foremost; it comes from me. That’s my job, is to provide a vision in terms of where we are going and to make sure then that my team is implementing.”
“The old ways of thinking and the old ways of acting just won’t do,” Obama said.
Also consider that or the critical inside job of national security adviser, Obama wants retired Marine Gen. James Jones, a respectful critic of some Bush administration war strategy, especially in Afghanistan, and his priorities and world view seem in line with Obama’s. But he’s no lefty. The former NATO Supreme Allied Commander in Europe was named last year to head an energy initiative for the Republican-friendly Chamber of Commerce, and he also served as a special Mideast peace adviser for the Bush administration.
Consider also his selection of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. No matter what you think of Hillary personally, you have to agree she’s a respected foreign policy wonk who will lend instant credibility to the Obama presidency throughout the world.
Gates and Jones are both career public servants without a strong ideological stamp. Clinton, 61, may carry ideological baggage, but she also brings a record of bipartisan cooperation in the Senate and tested Midwestern stick-to-it-iveness.
According to the Associate Press, Gates was a member of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group and is widely respected by Democrats in Congress, but he retains strong Republican lineage. The 65-year-old climbed the CIA bureaucracy from an entry-level position to become director under President George H.W. Bush. He also served on his National Security Council, as he had for Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.
Gates helped lead U.S. efforts to drive the Soviets out of Afghanistan in the 1980s while at the CIA and was deputy national security adviser during Operation Desert Storm, the first U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
Gates is a close friend of the Bush family. He was interim dean of the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M and became the university’s president in 2002. The school is home to the elder Bush’s presidential library.
Gates supported the Iraq war and the military buildup there, although he has also endorsed new efforts to draw down forces in Iraq and beef up troop numbers in Afghanistan _ a strategy also voiced by Obama.
Gates has won praise from Democrats for his willingness to work with all sides on Capitol Hill and his moves to swiftly can Pentagon leaders who he believed were not performing. During his brief tenure he has fired the Army and Air Force secretaries as well as the Air Force chief of staff.
Let’s see what the Obama critics have to say about these appointments. I’m sure they’ll be quick to point out how Jones, Gates and Clinton are all Muslim terrorists just like Obama.