President-elect Barack Obama announced the people he plans to nominate for a variety of positions in his administration earlier today. Oddly enough, it appears that he is going to pay Hillary Rodham Clinton less to serve as Secretary of State than he would just about anyone else for the same job. (See the "Saxbe fix" discussion in the previous link. And should we really be surprised that a "living Constitution" proponent would find ways to get around inconvenient clauses?)
Former Marine commandant Gen. James Jones will serve as Obama's National Security adviser -- a job he might very likely have received no matter who was elected last month. Jones is reportedly closer to former Naval aviator John McCain than he is to Obama.
Bush Defense Secretary Robert Gates will stay on. This should throw the left into a tizzy. It also makes one wonder whether Obama has any principles of his own other than his own advancement. Has his time in the sewer of leftist Chicago politics just been a way to advance? Was his presidential campaign of "change" and attacking the Bush administration's foreign policy just a charade to get the left behind him?
As one TV pundit said earlier today, with the exception of Clinton, these appointments aren't much different than a McCain team would look like. McCain likely would've nominated Joe Lieberman to Secretary of State (I don't believe Lieberman, re-elected in 2006 would have an Emoluments clause problem). Lieberman is virtually indistinguishable from Clinton on foreign policy issues -- on rhetoric she's like the rest of the Democratic caucus -- simply anti-Bush for the sake of being anti-Bush.
The good news appears to be that Obama won't lose a war in Iraq that Bush has won.