Obama Brings Clinton Team Back Together

12/15/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The Politico reports that Barack Obama's administration is starting to looks a lot like Bill Clinton's:

Here's how you can tell the campaign is over and the transition has begun: Barack Obama's aides now wear suits and ties, their desks are in the Federal Building on 6th Street in Washington, D.C.--and Clintonites are everywhere.

Obama's victory in the general election produced what his primary campaign couldn't: A swift merger of the Clinton Wing of the Democratic Party with the Illinois Senator's self-styled insurgency. The merger began, during the campaign, in the policy apparatus--which is now rapidly becoming the governing apparatus.

The absorption of the Clinton government in waiting represents Obama's choice not to repeat what he and his advisors see as an early mistake made by the last two presidents: Attempting to wield power in Washington through an insular campaign apparatus new to town.


While only one pure Clintonite, former White House Chief of Staff Podesta, has been added to the Obama inner circle, the shift in Obama's universe is not to be understated. From the top down, his early choices reflect an openness, and even a warmth, to the veterans of 1990s governance. It's a shift from a campaign that in the primary explicitly attacked President Clinton's tenure as a time of partisan strife and missed opportunities.


Thirty-one of the 47 people so far named to transition or staff posts have ties to the Clinton administration, including all but one of the members of his 12-person Transition Advisory Board and both of his White House staff choices.

Obama is also reportedly considering Hillary Clinton herself for Secretary of State. Read more about Obama's transition here.

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