For too long, I have been troubled. Others have also expressed a distress. Sam Donaldson, I recall, spoke of his perceptions post the Reagan Revolution. I remember Commentator Donaldson's account of the earlier 1980 transition. Seven years later, after much experience with the esteemed Administration, the seasoned Reporter, in his book, Hold On, Mister President, recounted his familiarity with a Executive Office, which by design was inaccessible. Mister Donaldson penned words that warned of what has become the norm today. In 1981, and for the decades that followed Presidents have played the press as was done when the "Great Communicator" took command.
Years ago, the Reagan White House presented the daily, "Talking Points" to reporters. The Oval Office framed the discussion. The media became but a messenger. Few if any rattled the supposed 'righteous' positions. Rhetoric ruled; spontaneity in professional critical journalism slipped into oblivion. Near thirty years ago, candid questioners were placed far from the President. Over time, journalist accepted what was. They adopted conformist habits. Correspondents did not dare to do what they once were trained to do. Management within news corporations seemed to adopt a more presumptive position. The word in the pressroom was 'do not rock the boat' or rail against an Administration.
Today, Ed Henry, you held the reigns in a manner rarely seen in recent history. I applaud you. You spoke to what too many have chosen to tolerate. Even among Progressive persons, excuses are made. Collectively, constituents, for the most part, have given consent to a second Clinton term.
Persons who would not vote for one more Clinton Administration have become apologists. Much of the public has acquiesced. Americans proclaim or claim to be comfortable. Yet, you, Mister Henry were open and honest. You chose not to permit a popular President Elect to do what seemed contrary to his oft-stated vision. You questioned. You inquired. Ed Henry, you said, why?
The answer you, and we, the people, received was interesting, although for me, less than insightful. I hope that Commander-In-Chief Obama will continue to ponder the true Progressive position. Perchance, he will keep in mind that we, the people voted for a transformation.
The transition team, thus far, has produced re-threads. For many amongst the masses that came out to celebrate an Obama election, threads on the Clinton Administration, long ago wore thin.
Millions, as Ed Henry observed, wish to beseech the President Elect. Earnestly, more than one of the electorate longs to say as I will. Please, Chief Executive Obama, reflect further on your choices. Consider, the American people did not cast a ballot for the Clintons.
Many muse; had Hillary secured the nomination she would not have garnered the massive numbers of votes the President Elect did. Nor would the throngs of Americans, those who placed their trust in an inspirational Obama influence, have followed the New York Senator's path.
Countless may yearn to share as Ed Henry suggested; the country, its citizens, placed their confidence in a novel vision, not in the Clintonistas calculations.
I implore President Elect Obama. Please, be the change we can believe in. Contemplate the words of Cable News Network Correspondent Ed Henry. If you would have his audacity, embrace his hope, and trust that for some, such as me, valor of convictions is the change I have faith in.
Mister Henry, you may not be a candy bar. Still, for me, your words were incredibly sweet and delicious. Hugs . . .
Sources for all that is sweet . . .
- Oh Henry! Wikipedia.
- Obama names former Fed chairman to head recovery board. Cable News Network. November 26, 2008
- Volcker to head board of economic experts. Cable News Network. November 26, 2008
- Obama third press conference on the economy in three days. Look for Clinton, National Security team roll out next week. By Lynn Sweet. Chicago Sun Times. November 26, 2008 8:04 AM
- Hold Mr. President. By Sam Donaldson.
Update . . .
A bit of the exchanges is shared. President Elect Barack Obama explains his perspective . He offers, he is the change we can believe in. Please peruse.
"Understand where the vision for change comes from, first and foremost," he said. "It comes from me. That's my job, to provide a vision in terms of where we are going and to make sure then that my team is implementing [that vision]."
"The last Democratic administration we had was the Clinton administration."
"So it would be surprising if I selected a Treasury Secretary who had had no connection with the last Democratic administration, because that would mean that the person had no experience in Washington whatsoever. And I suspect that you would be troubled and the American people would be troubled if I selected a Treasury Secretary or a chairman of the National Economic Council, at one of the most critical economic times in our history, who had no experience in government whatsoever. What we are going to do is combine experience with fresh thinking."
"I think when you ultimately look at what this advisory board looks like, you'll say this is a cross-section of opinion that in some ways reinforces conventional wisdom and in some ways breaks with orthodoxy in all sorts of ways."
"And that's the kind of discussion we want. We want ideas from everybody. What I don't want to do is to somehow suggest that since you served in the last Democratic administration, that you're somehow barred from serving again. Because we need people who are going to be able to hit the ground running."