Sunday, November 16, 2008

Who is this guy?

Meet Phil Schiliro. He's the former chief of staff for Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and he also worked for then majority leader Tom Daschle (D-SD). He's got a new gig: he will be President Obama's man on Capital Hill as Assistant to the President on Legislative Affairs. Marc Ambinder says Schiliro was "known as one of the savviest, smartest chiefs of staffs in DC."

Now, let me go ahead and respond to every commentator on Fox News who is going to hyperventilate this coming week about how they don't see how Hillary possibly being named Sec of State and insiders like Schiliro taking key positions represent change? Listen, change comes from Obama and his policies. Benen summed it up well, he's got to have people who know Washington to make it happen. Plus, you cannot take on cemented institutions like the professional political establishment of Washington, DC without bringing in some of those folks to the fold. If you tried that, you would turn them all against you, insuring your failure to get anything done. Ask Bill Clinton how well that works.

If his campaign showed us anything, it showed us Obama can pick smart people, lay out a strategy for them and steer them all towards a goal. That's what some of these picks are. Some of them are also probably a bit of LBJ philosophy, "better to have them in your tent pissing out, than outside your tent, pissing in."

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