… you’re one who endorsed Obama during the primaries:
CHICAGO — President-elect Barack Obama won’t be attending this weekend’s global economic summit hosted by President Bush, but he designated a bipartisan team of surrogates Wednesday to sit down with visiting foreign delegations on his behalf.
Former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, who served under President Bill Clinton, and former Representative Jim Leach, a Republican from Iowa who endorsed Mr. Obama during the campaign, will get together in “unofficial meetings” with leaders or their advisers from some of the Group of 20 nations while they are in Washington, Mr. Obama’s office said.
“This weekend’s summit is an important opportunity to hear from the leaders of many of the world’s largest economies” Denis McDonough, Mr. Obama’s senior foreign policy adviser, said in a statement. “President Bush should be commended for calling the summit. There is one president at a time, so the President-elect has asked Secretary Albright and Congressman Leach, an experienced and bipartisan team, to be available to meet with and listen to our friends and allies on his behalf.”
Former Rep. Leach authored (along with Phil Gramm of Texas and Tom Bliley of Virginia) the 1999 banking deregulation bill that set in motion of wave of deregulation in the industry and created new ways to package debt, securities and investment vehicles as well as allow banks to diversify their services and products.
Obama criticized this deregulatory bill and the deregulatory climate it theoretically touched off.
Oddly, the Clinton administration’s chief negotiator on the 1999 bill was then-Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers (who is now being considered for that job again – although I think his star is fading).
To some, it might appear ironic and possibly very odd to have Leach as one of two sets of Obama eyes and ears at the G-20 summit since it’s hard to imagine the creation of CDSs (Credit Default Swaps) or CDOs (Collateralized Debt Obligations) without the 1999 bill Leach helped write.
Let’s also not forget that the man President-elect Obama chose to be his running mate was one of 89 Senators in 1999 who supported that same bill.
We’ll just file this alongside the “It’s ok to be associated with Freddie Mac” …. as long as you’re a Democrat like Obama’s just-named COS Rahm Emanuel post I wrote last week. To recap, Emanuel, former head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, was on the board of directors of Freddie Mac at a time when the hot water was just starting to boil over at the mammoth lending agency.
As usual, just as we saw during the primaries and general election, it’s say one thing, do something different. Obama really does give new meaning to the words, “Do as I say, and not as I do” and all too often, he does so at the expense of others, including every Republican – including Bush and McCain – who tried to do something about this situation before it blew up, and who were stymied by Democrat seeking to stall any meaningful reform/oversight efforts.
Oh, and one other thing: Isn’t it interesting that the same Obama who talked down the Clinton economy during the primaries is the same Obama who is now appointing a lot of former Clinton officials either to his transition team or his administration?