Obama Nominees Pipe Up
By Glenn Kessler
There was one instant difference in today's Obama news conference versus the three he held last week.
The nominees opened their mouths -- and spoke.
Last week, when President-elect Barack Obama introduced his economic team in a series of news conferences, he made all the remarks and took all the questions. The nominees stood behind him, not saying a word.
This was somewhat unusual, because generally a president-elect will allow his nominees to say a few words. Sometimes the nominees merely thank their spouses, but Colin L. Powell famously gave such a commanding overview of foreign and defense policy he was perceived to have overshadowed then-President-elect George W. Bush.
But today's news conference was a return to form. Every nominee spoke, beginning with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the nominee for secretary of state.
Why the change in format between the unveiling of the economic and national security teams? Was this something Clinton requested? Or is the economic situation so fragile that Obama decided economic officials should not speak before confirmation?
Six hours after the question was first posed, the Obama transition team came back with an answer, of sorts: They declined to comment.
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