Sorry Frida Ghitis


President elect Obama has 11 days to go before he can officially take office on the 20th of January 2009.  Yes, in that time, Obama has made some economic speeches, he has named the majority of his cabinet appointees.  One Gov. Richardson who withdrew his name because of an investigation into corruption charges involving a campaign donor.  But, the biggest blow to fall on the GW administration was to watch the state of Israel invade Gaza after deciding that enough was enough when it came to Hamas raining rockets on its towns, cities and people.  Perhaps Frida Ghitis doesn’t recall the many nations “peace deal” that GW proceeded to put together and milked for every photo op that he could get his hands on.  That was what, a year ago?  So what happened that it all fell apart starting in late December?  After all, this was supposed to be a sustainable peace.

Leave it to Ms Ghitis (republished column in the Spokesman-Review) to rush past GW and his waning days as president and start hammering on a man not yet sworn into office for “leadership” that he doesn’t yet have the authority to exercise.  Over a matter that for the last 8 years, leadership was never really exercised in the first place.  I am sure that I could understand Ms. Ghitis willingness to do that, the vast majority of the world has since given up on GW as it is.  But, for the next 11 days, Sec. of State Condi Rice is still on the job, and the Middle East mess is still GW’s to have to deal with until he hands everything over (but not the Blair house, incidentally) to his successor.  There is going to be a lot on Obama’s plate on the day of his inauguration.

And in 11 days, the Israeli/Hamas conflict will probably not be resolved.  But how quickly will a new Sec. of State take Condi Rice’s place?  That depends on Congress.  Which means there will be a vacuum developing in which world opinion today represented by Frida Ghitis will demand answers, until a Sec. of State does take office, there can’t be answers.  The appointee is Clinton.  While Senator Clinton has earned her Congressional seat in her own right, Bill is a problem that must be resolved if she is to aspire to a cabinet level position.  And Bill was an argument that the GOP would have used effectively against her had she instead been the Dem nominee for president.  Would the GOP in the Senate put aside visceral hatred of Bill and simply aid in confirming Senator Clinton as the new Sec. of State?  Or would they prefer partisan politics instead, while opinion writers such as Ghitis continue to hammer away for answers and leadership that Obama must have an effective Sec. of State to deliver.

While I can understand such anxiety, the world is an utter mess and that is what GW has as a legacy and is handing over as a legacy to his successor.  President elect Obama has 11 days to go before he can begin picking up the broom, dust pan and begin cleaning up the mound of debris from the last 8 years.  Patience, people, patience.


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