Saturday, December 13, 2008

What kind of change was Obama promising?

When you heard Barack Obama promise to bring change to Washington what kind of change did you imagine? Did you take your cues from his criticism of our decision to invade Iraq and his promises to bring the troops home in 18 months to understand Obama to be promising change away from the Bush Doctrine of preventive wars of choice? Did Obama’s willingness to talk to any foreign leaders, including ones the Bush Administration refused to meet, indicate to you that he meant change toward a less belligerent and militaristic foreign policy? Did Obama's emphasis on the environment and sustainable energy suggest to you a change in the way those issues are handled? Did you also hear indications that Obama would be appointing and hiring people based on competence and ability rather than the loyalty standard used by the Bush Administration?

If so, then you are probably as surprised as I was by the following lead paragraphs of an AP story in today’s newspapers:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The inauguration committee of President-elect Barack Obama, who ran on a platform to change the way business is done in Washington, is selling four-day packages of four tickets to his historic swearing-in ceremony and parade plus some extras in exchange for $50,000.

The deal does represent a change. President Bush charged $250,000, selling his supporters a much bigger menu of inaugural goodies that featured candlelight dinners.

Does the writer of this article really believe that the change Barack Obama was promising was to not do fund-raising? That seems unlikely since Barack Obama did the most successful fund-raising in history during his campaign. No, it seems more likely to me that the writer of that article knows exactly what kind of change Obama was promising but is trying to persuade her/his readers to forget.

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