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Political Take: Obama Wins, What's Next?

Barack Obama's historic win will soon -- sooner than you think -- give way to talk of his transition and to how he will govern when he is sworn in on Jan. 20, 2009.

The Fix and the Post's Dan Balz look at how quickly Obama will move to fill key spots within his new Administration (Obama already has offered Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel the White House chief of staff job) and what lessons the Illinois senator can learn from the history of past transitions.

It's the Political Take!

By Chris Cillizza  |  November 5, 2008; 1:22 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Rahm Emanuel Mulling Obama Job Offer
Next: The RNC Chair Fight Begins


TO: Iconoblaster

Friend, you need to snort some colon cleanse up your big left nostril. Maybe that will help you in your formation of ideas and putting them into general prose.

You need to lose the elite, ugly persona and contribute to the community. Do you read what you write? Do you understand the editing process (nothing sophisticated...just basic, fundamental editing)?

Posted by: DavidinCentralFlorida | November 6, 2008 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: DorchesterAndCongress
When are you going to appear on FOX News - enough with these Olberman stints -
If I were Chris, I might ask you when you are going to get off this post. WHY ARE YOU HERE? 37th and whatever - get a life. Why not try being part of the solution?


Posted by: sheridan1 | November 6, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Note to leapin: "The world voted for Obama, too".

If you received an email with a title similar to "Obama Win Preferred in World Poll" from some sender named "" your computer has probably been taken over by a trojan horse and you need to get it cleaned up before you send spam all over the world courtesy of someone in the Ukraine. (Not to mention the possibility of identity theft). You really need to be careful what you click on these days. The perpetrators are just waiting to getcha!

Posted by: wwwqueen | November 6, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Obama is up against a very difficult next four years. When he was still a senator Obama was a large part of passing the Global Poverty Act, which is an act that would end severe poverty by 2025. The Borgen Project is also working to pass the Global Poverty Act. According to The Borgen Project:
$30 billion: Annual shortfall to end world hunger.
$540 billion: Annual U.S. Defense Budget.
Find out more at!

Posted by: veronica5 | November 6, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD - I guess the Dems have to be at least as gullible as the people who voted for Bush on the premise that government would get smaller.

Go suck on your sour grapes somewhere else.

Posted by: wwwqueen | November 6, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

DorchesterAndCongress suddenly finds cosmic wisdom in the erratic day-to-day movements of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. He writes that: "Wall Street showed its confidence in Obama yesterday by dropping another 480 points in one day..."

Dorch is barking up the wrong tree. Even if the latest gyrations in stock market prices COULD reasonably be attributed to the election of Barrack Obama (as if nothing else had the credit and mortgage crisis...that might have contributed in some 'small' way), the interpretation Dorchy offers is silly... there are too many other reasons Wall Street traders might have reacted as they did yesterday.

For example, perhaps the Wall Street Wizards fear that an Obama Administration will not be as pliant to their demands for bailouts and subsidies as Bush the Lesser was, or as they reasonably expected another Republican White House to be.

Stock market prices, by themselves, mean almost nothing (and what little they DO mean is seldom clear)... sellers sell because they expect the prices to fall; buyers buy because they expect prices to EVERY instance, either the buyer OR the seller is wrong.

I'm not sure Dorch is as dumb as he sounds in this instance... I'd think he knows all of this is true, and would be the first one to defend a President (or President-Elect) of whom he APPROVED against just such absurd criticisms. If so, its intellectualy dishonest for Dorch to offer such contentions here.

Posted by: Iconoblaster | November 6, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

37th&OStreet may have changed his handle to "DorchesterAndCongress", but he hasn't changed his same old, tired, ignorant, racist rap.

Senator Obama will soon be President Obama. Most of us will celebrate.

37th should just get over it.

Posted by: Iconoblaster | November 6, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse





Obama's first priority should be to come clean on his birth certificate and that he was born in Keyna.





Posted by: DorchesterAndCongress | November 6, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Obama is showing how much of an empty suit he is by going for Rahm Emmanuel right away - this is signaling that this is simply a re-trend of the Clinton wonks who knew everything better than everyone else.

What has changed?

The democrats took control of Congress in 2007 and everything started to tank.

The stock market forsaw an Obama win and lost 30% of its value in a few weeks.

Wall Street showed its confidence in Obama yesterday by dropping another 480 points in one day. Funny how the front pages covered Wall Street so closely in October to manufacture a "sense of crisis" and now when the Dow signals a lack of confidence in Obama it is off the front page.




Posted by: DorchesterAndCongress | November 6, 2008 5:36 AM | Report abuse

Obama pollster Joel Benenson spoke with TIME's Amy Sullivan. The former reporter turned numbers man talked about ... why the Obama campaign resisted calls to aggressively woo Hillary Clinton voters. Here's Benenson's inside take on how Obama won:

On winning over Hillary Clinton's supporters:

The second piece of conventional wisdom that was completely wrong was which groups we would be strong with. The notion that voters who supported Senator Clinton would vote Republican in the general election was never supported by what we saw in our polling. At the beginning of June, going into the general election, Obama had a double-digit lead in our battleground poll against McCain among women. He was competitive among Catholics and led 2 to 1 among Latinos.

The press corps had focused on all these groups in the last three months of the primary and was convinced that they would pose problems for us in the general. But that just wasn't true, and we recognized that early on. As a result, we were able to focus on swing voters instead of worrying about parts of the base that were already with us. We looked at groups where Obama could make gains and at places where he could broaden the map.

So much for the bitter Clinton posters who claimed they'd elect McCain. The PUMAs have been consigned to the dustbin of history.

Oh, and true conservatives can easily back Obama. Real conservatives demand accountability and reward ability and competence. Bush was incompetent, and McCain, possessed of many personal virtues, is an incompetent politician on a national stage. The major mistakes he made, Palin chief among them, did not speak well of his decision-making ability.

Posted by: gbooksdc | November 5, 2008 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Barack is already om the job.

Sooner than Clinton, smarter than Bush.

Emmanuel is a perfect first choice to be laison w Congress. Will get the job done. No Brownies or Gonzaleses, No Monicas.

No drama Bama.

Excellence. Competence. Accomplishment.

One day down, eight years to go!

America returns!

Posted by: wpost4112 | November 5, 2008 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Obama may well have applied for and won the most difficult job of all. He will not succeed without broad public support that transcends those who voted for him.
Read more on this at:

Posted by: bn1123 | November 5, 2008 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Here's the "hope" and "change" we have to look forward to in the near term: 1) the Orwellian-named "Employee Free Choice Act" which will deny the right of workers to have a secret ballot in union votes. 2) the Orwellian-named "Fairness Doctrine" which is nothing but the most blatant attack on political free speech in the last 100 years. Obama is your president, not mine.

Posted by: davec701 | November 5, 2008 8:57 PM | Report abuse




Just spend a year under about a hundred thousand signs saying CHANGE and what is the first thing Obama does? He wants a top Clinton Rahm Emmanuel as his Chief of Staff.... SAME SAME SAME




Posted by: DorchesterAndCongress | November 5, 2008 8:36 PM | Report abuse

How much will the Democrats spend on their inauguration for their president during the "worst economic crisis since the Great Depression?" Will it be an extravagant party? Will Michelle have on an expensive dress? What a bunch of vile hypocrites.

Posted by: davec701 | November 5, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse



I love the vagueness of this whole thing: it is the beginning of something new which is so much better - but WHAT? Besides more government programs and higher taxes what is this the beginning of???




Posted by: DorchesterAndCongress | November 5, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse




When are you going to appear on FOX News - enough with these Olberman stints -


Posted by: DorchesterAndCongress | November 5, 2008 8:27 PM | Report abuse

World peace.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | November 5, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

It seems the evidence of what's next includes more crashing of the Stock market. More to come as the world wakes up to liberal economic policies.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | November 5, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

O happy day!

Posted by: wpost4112 | November 5, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

wpost4112: "A true conservative and Republican."

??? True conservative my @$$. A true conservative would never vote for a leftist like Obahmuh.

Posted by: NObama | November 5, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

"how gullible are the voters to believe that the Dems will lower taxes."

And yet somehow all the warnings of the race tightening seem to have gone unheeded. They can't be THAT gullible.

Posted by: DDAWD | November 5, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

"Finally, transparency comes to our government!'

This brings to mine "The Emperor's New Clothes".

"Obama has ordered the creation of the website "" to give us access to his transition to power."

Paypal/Credit Cards accepted.

Posted by: leapin | November 5, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse


Proof that voter id is needed in all states.

Posted by: leapin | November 5, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Finally, transparency comes to our government!

Obama has ordered the creation of the website "" to give us access to his transition to power.

An awesome start! and good omen for the future!

Posted by: wpost4112 | November 5, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

I voted for him because i trust he knows what to do next and will do it. Newsweek has an outstanding behind the scenes look at his campaign and the "get it done" kind of guy he is.

I am thrilled he will fill the Supreme Court with young moderates....esp women and minorities. Hopefully the liberal/moderate judges will now retire, one per year, so he can accomplish that necessary work.

There's the conomy of course.
Ending the Iraq occupation.
Undo Bush's rape of the Constitution...restore the Dept of Justice...scrap Homeland Security, restore FEMA...and accept gays/lesbians in the army.

Everyone today seemed happier, brighter, more optimistic.

Looking forward to the next 8 years!

p.s., listen to today's Fresh Air on NPR...Former Republican Congressman Mickey Edwards argues that the conservative movement has strayed from its founding principles. His book, Reclaiming Conservatism, offers a critique of the movement's current incarnation — and a blueprint for its future success.

...and that future doesn't include Palin.

A true conservative and Republican.

Posted by: wpost4112 | November 5, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

What's next - a string of broken promises, same as every time a Lib wins.

how gullible are the voters to believe that the Dems will lower taxes.

PT Barnum, call your office.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | November 5, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: caraprado1 | November 5, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I did not support Obama for many reasons, not so much because of higher taxes, but I felt he lied to the American people about his radical and racist associations. That being said I accept the fact that he won and is now my President. I love this country and support President Obama and pray that he will become a great President for the sake of the American people. I am willing to give him the benefit of a doubt, but he still has to prove to me and many of his non-supporters that he is for all the people and trustworthy to be an American President.

Every American should support our President no matter who they supported or whether they agree or disagree of their agenda. President Bush made some bad mistakes in his administration and I hope that we learn from mistakes and get back on track. Whether you like President Bush or not he deserves thanks from the American people for keeping our homeland safe since that horrific day on 9/11. If nothing else, we owe him that much.

God bless America.

Posted by: velowl | November 5, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

It may be early, but here's an important question that I haven't seen anyone mention:

Who's in line to fill the seats of President-elect Obama, Vice President-elect Biden - and should he accept the chief of staff position - Rep. Emanuel?

All will vacate their current offices to assume their new positions, meaning an additional two new Democratic senators to add to their new majority.

Indeed, should other senators and/or representatives be tapped for Obama administration positions, that would mean even more new faces, and if they are current elected officials, who will fill their seats?

Let the dominoes begin to fall...

Posted by: ClarenceMoriwaki | November 5, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

In electing Barack Obama as President is not only historical but a profound and defining moment which will bring a new face to America of a kind which will be talked about for many generations as the generations who spoke of Abraham Lincoln.

Posted by: Kimmo1 | November 5, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse



( LOST )
( OVER )
( OUT )

( OUCH )



The flying monkey right red neck bigots dysfunctional Republican Talking Heads

Posted by: Kimmo1 | November 5, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse


Ensuring the civil liberties of all Americans, and weeding out prejudice within the federal government, must be a top priority of the new administration -- as the comments on accompanying threads here so graphically demonstrate.

The free ride for the forces of hate and extremism, hiding behind programs to "keep America safe," must come to an abrupt end.

Perhaps one of the first executive orders of the new administration should be mandated sensitivity training for all federal personnel, and a refresher course on the meaning of the U.S. Constitution.

All federal departments should be screened for policies and ongoing operations that are violating the civil liberties of American citizens.

Again, the sentiments expressed in this thread demonstrate the urgency of this mission.

And wrongdoers should be brought to account before the bar of the law.

BUT WILL THE ELECTION EVEN MATTER? Not when government-supported extrajudicial "vigilante injustice" squads are "gang stalking" American citizens, making a mockery of the rule of law:


Posted by: scrivener50 | November 5, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

If Obama is smart, he will pick some prominent women for significant positions soon. Otherwise, he will turn off a lot of the Hillary folks who came out to support him.

Posted by: avogt2 | November 5, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Let's see his birth certificate..........


That certificate is the same one that is issued to babies born outside the country - which is common in Hawaii - that certificate proves nothing -

What hospital was Obama born in ???



Posted by: DorchesterAndCongress | November 5, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Let's see his birth certificate..........


That certificate is the same one that is issued to babies born outside the country - which is common in Hawaii - that certificate proves nothing -

What hospital was Obama born in ???



Posted by: DorchesterAndCongress | November 5, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Now what?

WHY Obama beat Hillary is because of vision.

Example, where Hillary says "it's a clean-up job to be done after Bush" what Obama knows needs to be done and will do is a DEMOLISHING job.

A DEMOLISHING of Bushism, some of it consisting of:

+ The Bush Doctrine as spelled against outsiders but that also applies to US citizens who can be walked over arbitrarily and abusively uner Bush's premises.

+ The economic doctrines of putting wealth on the ROOF of people, which is the FLOOR where the conglomerates of greed and profiteering walk, and from where wellbeing trickles down only when there's a leak due to so much being up there.

+ The OUT-SOURCING of public duties to PRIVATE companies that belong to cronies of the politicians and lobbyists. That outsourcing includes military and security functions which have gone to the likes of Black Water, and various in-the-shadows information management make-ups.

+ The out-sourcing of DEMOCRACY to other countries where HERE IN AMERICA we are still need to practice what we preach.

+ The outsourcing of sources of wealth and revenue to other countries and places due to puting short-term profiteering and tax-evasion ahead of national security and well-being.

+ AND more important, the OUT-SOURCING of public-servants RESPONSIBILITY.


Posted by: ElMugroso | November 5, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

--" ... and what lessons the Illinois senator can learn from the history of past."

If someone gives you a presidential daily briefing entitled "Bin Laden determined to strike in US", stop multitasking and pay attention.

Posted by: DonJasper | November 5, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: scrivener50 | November 5, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Pelosi and Reed must have ready for President Obama to sign on day one the law which regulates the speculators of oil. In Brownsville we are down from a high of $3.99 a gallon to $1.75 a gallon. This is real money in the hands of the people. The average family has about $100-$300 more a month. Is this not a smarter move than another $300.00 one time check.

This extra money is going to push up consuker spending for the holidays. That financial report in January is going to help boost Wallstreet.

Pelosi and Reed - do it and do it now

Bobby Wightman-Cervantges


Have you all bee listening to Rove - it is about 2010 - the census vote - he is already predicting Republicans will win and draw the new maps - maybe not in Texas- the Republicans got beat in the state house - one seat remains undecided (by 25 votes)76-74 for the Republicans could become 75-75 tie - GO TEXAS

Posted by: bobbywc | November 5, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

One of the lessons Barack Obama has learned is not to dawdle over choosing staff (or Cabinet either, I hope). Bill Clinton's indecisiveness and dilatoriness in this respect (not to mention poor choices who had to be jettisoned) kept his administration from "hitting the ground running."

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | November 5, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Interesting analysis of previous administrations; but in fairness you can't really put all the blame on Bush for a lack of Bipartisanship. I seem to remember a chorus of liar, stolen election and some other pretty advanced hysteria on the part of the democrats and I really don't remember too many bi partisan attempts from Harry or Nancy.

What does BO need to do? To misquote Churchill "Never in the field of politics has so much been promised to so many by so few." Obama has to convince the woman in Fl who thought he would pay her mortgage and buy her gas to continue to support him when that doesn't happen. Obama has to turn the economy around ASAP or the college kids who can't get jobs on graduation and the college educated people who are losing theirs will leave him. Obama also needs to lose some of the ideologiclly based policies such as causing the price of electricity to skyrocket. It doesn't take a genious to imagine the reaction across the political spectrum if every month people have to wrote a utility check which is two or three times bigger than before just because he wanted to bankrupt the coal industry.

Posted by: peteinny | November 5, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Chris, a lot of you pundits apparently missed Obama's promise (or, threat, if you are Bill Gates) to put an end to outsourcing jobs. One of his and Congresses first acts will be to put curbs on the H1-B and L-1 visas, perhaps even end them, and impose punative taxes on companies and their investors that have outsourced jobs. To date, "globalization" has meant that U.S. based companies have combed the world, looking for cheap labor and production markets, creating an expensive mess here at home that they have walked away from. That's about to become a *very* expensive way of doing business!I'll bet that, with 12 months, most of the Call Centers and a lot manufacturing jobs will be returning home, unemployment will drop, and consumer spending will lift this country out of the current recession. I'll also bet you that India and China, dependent upon their parasitical relationship with the U.S., will a nasty recession and our "friendship" with them will abruptly end.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | November 5, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

jrob822 is correct.

America is BACK. Restoring the rule of law and our constitutional rights and liberties will take time, after the last eight nightmare years.

It takes time to bail out the boat when the previous captain was trying to fill it up with water.

Posted by: WillSeattle | November 5, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Disregard for history and repeat of it.

Posted by: leapin | November 5, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

What's next? Peace, prosperity, health care, education, energy independence, and environmental stewardship.

But it'll take time.

Posted by: jrob822 | November 5, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

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