Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Call Him Flexible
| The Houston Chronicle Dec. 2, 2008|
President-elect Barack Obama has quietly shelved a proposal to slap oil and natural gas companies with a new windfall profits tax.
An aide for the transition team acknowledged the policy shift Tuesday, after a small-business group discovered the proposal — touted throughout much of the campaign — had been dropped from the incoming administration’s Web site.
“President-elect Obama announced the policy during the campaign because oil prices were above $80 per barrel,” the aide said. “They are below that now and expected to stay below that.”
There were signs that Obama would not press for an early withdrawal from Iraq of which he talked during the campaign. Now, that key appointments in defense (Gates to continue) and State Department have been filled, we can forget the campaign rhetoric. Disappointing.
International Herald Tribune Dec.2, 2008
The uncertainties facing the incoming administration may have prompted Obama, in introducing his national security team Monday, to signal greater flexibility in his plans to withdraw combat troops from Iraq within 16 months.
Obama reaffirmed that goal, but also emphasized his willingness to consider options put forth by the military.
"I will listen to the recommendations of my commanders," he said at a news conference in which he also named Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton as his choice for secretary of state and said that he would keep Robert Gates as defense secretary.
No longer a candidate, Obama has been calibrating his troop-withdrawal statements to leave room to maneuver, as some senior military officers are wary of moving too quickly. Meanwhile, he wants to send more forces to Afghanistan.