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A Cautionary Tale For Obama

I just tripped across this passage reading a great old Marjorie Williams profile of Tony Coelho (in the great posthumous collection of her writing): 

[Bill] Clinton had, of course, run for president against exactly the politics-as-usual tradition that Coelho had exemplified. In his 1992 speech accepting the Democratic nomination, he railed that government had been "hijacked by privileged, private interests" and promised to "break the stranglehold the special interests have on our elections and the lobbyists have on our government." Yet, from the start, Clinton showed a perfect willingness to do business with the existing power structure. By using men like Washington lawyer Vernon Jordan on his transition team, he signaled that he would not challenge the prerogatives of those who had arrived in Washington before him.

Substitute Obama for Clinton, Jim Johnson for Vernon Jordan, and remember how changing the culture of Washington really is. I'm sure Bill Clinton was no less sincere about doing it than Obama is now.

--Michael Crowley