One wonders what sort of policies this mish mash will produce. Of course it will be spun as a fine example of bipartisan governing. Presumably the policy will be for the most part quite centrist on the whole. No doubt Obama will bring some progressive changes to domestic policy and he seems determined to close Guantanamo and try to eliminate some of the global condemnation of US human rights record in the war on terror. However, the imperialist bent of Bush foreign policy remains quite strong as can be seen in Obama's stance on Afghanistan. What he will do in the Middle East remains to be seen but it seems to be a continuation of the policy of trying to isolate Hamas and continue to be very much slanted towards Israel.
<http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0109/17532.html>Obama tries to seduce Republicans
By: Jonathan MartinJanuary 17, 2009 10:25 AM EST
It's no secret Barack Obama is trying to seduce Republicans these days. But his conservative courting runs much deeper and wider than is publicly known.Obama has had meetings with his former opponent John McCain, GOP congressional leaders and some of the country’s leading conservative commentators. He’s also honoring McCain and Colin Powell in high-profile pre-inaugural dinners, where Obama is expected to toast the Republicans.Behind the scenes, Obama and his team are working just as hard, courting prominent Republicans and conservatives through frequent phone calls, e-mails and private sit-downs.The selection of evangelical pastor Rick Warren for the inaugural invocation and Obama’s dinner with right-of-center writers at George F. Will’s home drew significant buzz. But the transition also has quietly reached out to other prominent figures atop the Southern Baptist Church, Charles Colson’s Prison Fellowship Ministry and the Jewish Orthodox Union.“I think he’s done an extremely good job so far,” said Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), who received a call from the president-elect last week. “On both the quality of his nominees and the contact that he personally or his skeleton staff have had with members on the Hill — I think they’ve done just an exceptional job at that.”Burr, who declined to share what he and Obama spoke about, said it helps to have one of the Senate’s own now in the White House, a rare thing in the modern presidency.“One, you’ve got to understand that we’re friends. Two, the way he interacted with us as a member of the Senate — he hasn’t forgot that. In the early stages now he still has a cell phone and BlackBerry and he’s using them.”See AlsoRep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the House Minority Whip, has met with Obama and is in frequent contact with Rahm Emanuel, the House member turned presidential chief of staff, via cell phone and BlackBerry.“I have met with Rahm and spoken with him several times and he said, ‘Look, you need to understand — working in a bipartisan manner is something the president-elect takes seriously,’” Cantor noted. “It has thus far been a very efficient process.”Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who just got back from the Middle East with Joe Biden, was with McCain and the president-elect in Chicago at the post-election meeting and met again with Obama Wednesday for about 45 minutes.“Once the campaign is over, to govern you have to find consensus and I think he understands that,” said Graham, who will introduce McCain at the tribute dinner Monday. “Ronald Reagan understood the value of personal relationships and I think [Obama] understands that that model offers the best hope of sustaining momentum from the election and achieving legislative success. So far, so good.”Graham, one of McCain’s closest friends and a frequent campaign trail companion, said much of the good will from his party stems from a patriotic desire to turn the country around.“A lot of people, including Republicans, want us to get back on our feet because we’re on our knees. And he’s the quarterback, he’s the captain – everybody is pulling for him.”According to Obama officials, the president-elect has personally reached out to Senate GOP leaders, Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and Jon Kyl (Ariz.), as well as key committee ranking members Charles Grassley (Iowa) and Judd Gregg (N.H.) and such moderates as Olympia Snowe (Maine).Kyl, Gregg and Snowe were three of only six Senate Republicans who joined with most Democrats Thursday in opposing a resolution disapproving of Obama’s request to release the remaining bailout money.Among Republicans, Obama seems to have made deeper inroads thus far in the more consensus-driven Senate, where he already has personal relationships from his four years there.“I think he understands that 41 Republicans can affect what finds its way to his desk,” said Burr, alluding to the need to get 60 votes in the Senate for most bills to procede to a vote.But Obama hasn’t necessarily shirked the more conservative House GOP minority.Cantor said a hearing that Republicans held Thursday on the stimulus came after Obama call for more bipartisan cooperation in a meeting with Congressional leadership.“He was very clear: he said bring us your ideas,” Cantor recalled. “I take the president-elect at his word that he really does want to change the way Washington works.”Cantor said that, following the hearing, he and other House GOP leaders would approach Obama to request a meeting to offer their input on an economic bill that both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue hope to have to the White House by mid-February.As generous as he was of Obama, who is riding high in the polls, Cantor was not as charitable toward his less popular Democratic colleagues.“The battle of ideas is beginning,” Cantor said, just hours before House Democrats irked their Republican counterparts by unveiling the first draft of a stimulus plan. “Capitol Hill Democrats would rather see a return to addressing problems with a very significant amount of government spending.”But while partisan clashing between the two parties may be inevitable, Obama isn’t limiting his outreach to the capital. He and his aides are also courting influential outside conservatives.“It has certainly helped the president-elect to get more of a hearing from evangelicals when he invited Rick Warren,” said Richard Land, a well-known social conservative and chief of the Southern Baptist Convention’s public policy arm. “I don’t think that would have happened had Hillary Clinton been elected.”Land, who said he had been contacted by Obama aides since the election, praised the new president and suggested that he would receive a fresher look from Christian conservatives because of both his approach and his generation.“He’s done a pretty good job making it clear that he doesn’t have the knife out,” said Land. “Just because you disagree with him on some issues doesn’t mean you can’t agree with him on other issues.”And Obama, unlike the Clintons and President Bush, is somebody who is neither shaped nor scarred by baby boomer battles, noted Land, 62, himself a product of the era.“There’s more opportunity for it to be civil, more opportunity for it to be constructive. We’ve been going at each other for so long, we just can’t help it. But somebody like Obama comes along – an even though he’s more liberal than Hillary – he doesn’t generate the same heat. I welcome it.”The message, said a transition official involved in the outreach, is simple: “The door is open.”But, this being Washington politics, not all are convinced Obama’s motives are entirely altruistic.Said Charles Krauthammer, the longtime conservative columnist who was at Will’s dinner, on Fox News: “You see that since his election he has kind of reached out to people that may not be ideological allies, to Rick Warren, the pastor who will be at his inaugural, to John McCain, whom he has treated with a lot of dignity and respect, and to a bunch of right wing columnists last night, in part, because I think he is a guy who is intellectually curious and wants to exchange ideas, but also in part he wants to co-opt the vast right wing conspiracy.”