September 6, 2012

Reaching Across the Aisle

In Bill Clinton's speech at the Democratic National Convention, he mentioned that President Obama, contrary to some claims to the contrary, reaches across party lines:
One of the main reasons America should re-elect President Obama is that he is still committed to cooperation. He appointed Republican Secretaries of Defense, the Army and Transportation.
Let's take a quick look at these appointments:
  • Robert Gates served as Director of Central Intelligence under President George H.W. Bush.  He was appointed Secretary of Defense by George W. Bush to replace Donald Rumsfeld.  President Obama asked him to continue in the role under his administration.  When Gates retired in 2011, Obama presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. the nation's highest civilian award.  Gates was in fact registered as an Independent, but publicly stated that he considered himself a Republican.
  • John McHugh was a ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, where he had been a harsh critic of Obama's Pentagon budget.
  • Ray LaHood served in the House of Representatives since 1994, representing Illinois's 18th Congressional District. He served in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee from 1995 until 2000.  He also served on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Appropriations Committee.  In 1998, he presided over the impeachment of then President Bill Clinton.  LaHood has announced that he'll be retiring at the end of President Obama's first term, and that he does not plan to seek public office again.
So, two Republicans, and an Independent who worked for Republicans.  And some of those Republicans were harsh critics of the Democratic Party, or its elected officials.  Yet, President Obama still reached out to them.  They were great choices for their appointments, and possibly more so because of their opposing views.  And the President recognized this when he appointed them.

Contrast that with the Republican Party's decision to "reconstitute" the delegates from Maine.  Claiming that the primary process in Maine was flawed, the national party ruled that half the delegates - who happened to be supporters of Ron Paul - would be replaced with delegates who just happened to support Romney.  The Republican Party can't even cooperate with its own internal factions, and we're supposed to believe them when they say they can unite the country?

1 comment:

  1. "Reaching across party lines" is an over-valued concept that sounds real nice. But it ain't happening anyway, so I say lose it. Paint the 'Pubs as the fools and fanatics they truly are, and warn the nation that handing them the keys to anything invites a total meltdown -- remember that little economic setback called The Great Recssion? Show the nation how incapable John Boner is at keeping his own troops lined up, including his running mate Paul Lyin'. But fdor chrissakes, somebody hide Wasserman Schultz in a root cellar until after the election.