I tell you, it’s a good thing nothing important is going on in America right now, because otherwise, this news would bother me just a tad.
CHICAGO (Reuters) – President-elect Barack Obama said on Thursday he would resign his U.S. Senate seat effective Sunday, which means he will not participate in next week’s post-election session that could address the ailing economy and struggling auto industry.
Obama, who will be sworn in as president on January 20, said he would step down from his Senate seat to focus on the transition to the White House.
This would explain Team Obama’s coyness when reporters repeatedly asked whether more economic legislation would be passed by the Congress before the inauguration. For example, during the press conference which caused me to dub him “President-Elect Treebeard,” this exchange occurred:
Q Sir, there’s been some suggestion from House Democrats that the stimulus package may be in trouble, that it’s going to be a hard time getting it out of a lame-duck session.
Are you still confident that you would be able to get something done before you actually take office?
PRESIDENT-ELECT OBAMA: I want to see a stimulus package sooner rather than later. If it does not get done in the lame-duck session, it will be the first thing I get done as president of the United States.
Obviously, the President-Elect never planned on using his power as the new head of the Democratic Party in the Senate during this incredibly crucial time. Economy, ecshmonomy! Obama’s going to be busy picking his new Cabinet and staffing all the departments that Bush filled with underqualified graduates of Liberty University. While this is, admittedly, a big job, one would think that with 450 people working on it. Obama could afford to spend a few days helping push his economic vision through Congress.
Oh well. Looks like it’s up to Mommy, er uh, Hillary, to show how it’s done, once again.
WASHINGTON – Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton urged President Bush during a Veterans Day ceremony yesterday to agree to a $300 billion economic stimulus package that might be considered by a lame-duck session of Congress next week.
New York might get $410 million in highway, bridge and flood-mitigation projects as part of a bigger infrastructure package, more money to cover Medicaid costs and extended benefits for the long-term unemployed, according to Clinton’s proposal.
Clinton said she spoke with Bush briefly and gave him a letter on the subject during the rededication of the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum on Manhattan’s West Side.
Yes, unlike President-Elect Obama, Senator Clinton will be in Washington to work with her fellow Congresscritters during the lame-duck session. She will actually follow up her words with actions, just as she’s been doing for the past 35 years.
Now there is speculation that Obama will be leaning on Hillary even more in the future. Will he really choose her for Secretary of State?
There’s talk, indeed, that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) may now be under consideration for the post. Her office referred any questions to the Obama transition; Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor declined to comment.
The pick of the former presidential contender and Senate Armed Services Committee member would go a long way toward healing any remaining divisions within the Democratic Party after the divisive primaries. Also, Clinton has long been known for her work on international women’s issues and human rights. The former first lady could also enhance Obama’s efforts to restore U.S. standing amongst allies worldwide.
And Obama could put her in his speed-dial for a 3 a.m. phone call every morning.
As juicy an idea as this is, I give this rumor just as much credence as the “Hillary for Vice President!” rumors that were going around before Joe “Death and Destruction” Biden was picked for the VP slot instead. I mean, the woman was never even vetted, and there were still stories for months and months about how she was on the “short list.” (Once again, our media is pathetic.)
If for once the corporate media has it right, I hope Hillary says “No thanks.” As great an SOS as she would be, I do not want her to be under Obama’s thumb as part of his staff. He should not be directly in control of her political future. And, as she has shown repeatedly, her voice is much needed in the Senate. SOMEONE has got to show leadership in that august body.
It sure isn’t going to be Harry Reid, who has been notably silent regarding the economic stimulus package and its future. And now we know it won’t be soon-to-be-ex-Senator Obama either.