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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Obama’s lack of lefty picks upsetting for some

It seems like no matter what President-elect Barack Obama does, he still won’t be able to live up to the expectations of the angry left and will constantly have crosshairs on him by the right, waiting for the big slip-up. If he pleases one side, the other gets angry. The poor guy can’t win. Perhaps The Onion had a point with its headline, “”Black Man Given Nation’s Worst Job.””

As of late, it’s been the left who has attacked Obama for creating a largely centrist administration – something that conservatives can lick their lips about, but nothing for progressives or radicals to stick their jagged forks in. Some of the controversy stems from the choice to retain Bush’s defense secretary Robert Gates, national security adviser James Jones (an ally and supporter of Sen. John McCain and the Iraq war) and recruiting a large portion of Clintonites into key positions.

As I sit and write this, looking up at my Barack Obama commemorative gold-lined dinner plate, I realize that his kind eyes and confident smile can only go so far. It’s time for him to take some serious action, and while he has made some headway, it’s still not liberal enough for some. Mr. “”Hope”” says the economy is not only bad, but is going to get worse? That’s not the kind of change we can believe in. Everyone’s sick of the spineless, predictable Democrats. It’s time to talk tough and start annihilating America’s problems.

Say what you will about George W. Bush, but the man was nothing if not a tough talker. “”Bring ’em on,”” “”I’m the decider,”” “”I’m the war president,”” and various other choice sound bites erased doubts that he was anything but a manly American warrior.

Here’s what Obama’s response was to the economic issue: “”I am absolutely confident that if we take the right steps over the coming months, that not only can we get the economy back on track, but we can emerge leaner, meaner and ultimately more competitive and more prosperous.”” These are finely picked words, but what do they mean? Simply put, it’s too intellectual for a lot of the country, who don’t speak elitist.

Obama only won most Americans over when he was able to hold his own against McCain in the debates and not buckle to the McCain campaign’s unfathomable accusations against him. Still, while this says a lot about Obama’s character, he really can waste no time making key decisions before entering the White House. It’s natural that the left would be upset at some of Obama’s picks, but after all, it will be he who has the final word on key issues. Liberals can sometimes be like the child who doesn’t get the prize right away and throws a hissy fit.

The Washington Post wrote, “”Perhaps Obama is trying to pull off something subtle – a sort of stealth liberalism draped in bipartisan centrism.”” The fact remains that any person who could bring real change to the U.S. probably couldn’t get elected, and indeed it is sort of amazing that Obama did. His political history was never that liberal to begin with, and it’s not surprising that he’s making more moderate choices to fill his administration. What did people expect, a liberal utopia?

According to The New York Times, part of Obama’s plan will also include “”the creation of a vast public-works program not just built around bridge and highway projects, but on creating ‘green jobs’ and disseminating new technologies.”” While all of this is well and good, there are a few issues that leave this writer with a certain level of concern. For one, Obama has been vague about the 16-month troop withdrawal in Iraq, and while domestic issues reign supreme, this is one area that can’t be avoided or left for later. There is a creeping sense of concern from those like me who have seen Obama as a good talker but not a doer, and his actions as of late have confirmed this.

America has been suffering from a massive head wound in 2008. Let’s all have a nice break and hope we can start 2009 anew. Barack Obama may have been given the nation’s worst job, but there’s considerable hope that he won’t be the worst at it.

– Matt Wavrin is a media arts senior. He can be reached at

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