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February 26, 2008

Richard Florida

The Obamanauts

« Who's Your Interview ... | Main | The Religion Map »

TNR's Norm Schieber takes a close look at the candidate's advisors in economics and foreign policy:

The real difference between the Obama campaign and, say, Hillary Clinton's, is twofold. First, while many of the Obamanauts had previously served in the Clinton administration, they tended to be younger or less influential than the officials who signed on with Hillary. Clinton advisers like former secretary of state Madeleine Albright and former U.N. ambassador Richard Holbrooke tend to be "more invested in justifying or glorifying" the Clinton record, says one Obama foreign policy hand, whereas the Obamanauts don't have the same "permanent need to fight for the legacy of your time in government."

The second difference is that the Obama hands tend to feel less hemmed in by establishment opinion. As one Obama adviser puts it, "Democrats want to be just a little bit different from Republicans, but not so different that they get attacked for being weak." Like Hamilton, the Obamanauts generally reject this calculus--not because they favor some radical alternative, but because clinging to received foreign policy wisdom can preclude highly practical courses of action.

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Comments

Christy Cunningham

Right... and I too am excited by the obamanauts... I'm pretty close to drinking the Kool aid for sure. However, I must ask the question, what happens when the "less influentials" become the "influentials"?

Mike Linacre

The Democrats are exhibiting the same "old" (defend the past) vs. "new" (invent the future) dichotomy that Karl Weick observes in the business world.

Benjamin Day

Is this a fancy way of saying Obamanauts are, um, younger?

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