As reported on NBC, John Brennan has taken himself out of any consideration for a position in Pres-Elect Obama’s cabinet.
John Brennan, President-elect Barack Obama’s top adviser on intelligence, has taken his name out of the running for any intelligence position in the new administration.
In a letter Tuesday, Brennan wrote letter to Obama that he did not want to be a distraction. His potential appointment has raised a firestorm in liberal blogs who associate him with the Bush administration’s interrogation, detention and rendition policies.
“The fact that I was not involved in the decision making process for any of these controversial policies and actions has been ignored,” he wrote, in a letter obtained by The Associated Press.
This is obviously great news, I would say that the criticism from the left played an instrumental role in preventing Brennan from having any position in an Obama administration. Brennan’s position on torture is somewhat, well, tortured. He has come under quite a bit of scrutiny of course, given some of his statements on torture. His position on the issue isn’t really clear (except the fact that he hasn’t really taken a position), but the fact that he leaves himself open for question on the issue was of course a major problem. Unequivocal opposition of torture should be a prerequisite for any intelligence director, or any position in Intelligence or Justice for that matter.
Jonathan Martin at Politico reminds us of one of the signature lines from the primary contest, where in response to a question (and a guffaw from Senator Clinton) about why there were so many Clinton advisers on Obama’s team, President-elect Obama lets loose with possibly the zinger of the election season:
Big news out of Alaska:
The elections division still has over 10,000 ballots left to count today and thousands more through next week, but the latest numbers show Mark Begich leading Sen. Ted Stevens 125,019 to 125,016.
The new numbers, reflecting nearly 43,000 absentee ballots counted today, are from all over the state. Election night, Ted Stevens led the Democratic Begich by about 3,000 votes.
The state today is counting a total of about 60,000 absentee and questioned ballots.
I’ve frankly been very confident about the Dems picking up this seat, given the number of outstanding ballots, and the fact that I found it confounding that Alaska voters would vote to send a convicted felon back to Washington. It appears that many outstanding votes are from Dem friendly districts. So we’re getting closer to getting to the magical 60 senate number.
This picture is from the meeting at the White House between President-Elect Obama and President Bush. I’m not a body language guru, but I found this to be a pretty powerful picture. President-Elect Obama is wasting no time in asserting himself.
On the heels of Rahm Emanuel agreeing to the Chief of Staff position, the RNC had decided the best response is to blast Rahm:
Republicans attacked the selection, however. House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a statement: “This is an ironic choice for a president-elect who has promised to change Washington, make politics more civil and govern from the center.”
This is amazingly boneheaded. Just days after McCain and Obama pledge cooperation, and with even George Bush being somewhat of a “team” player, the RNC decides to go to war on…the Chief of Staff? Watching MSNBC, Andrea Mitchell questions why they are picking this fight. Atlantic Media’s Ron Brownstein notes that this is why they are the minority party. Even the GOP pundit questioned why the RNC is starting out on this negative note. Meet the new RNC, same as the old RNC.
I can’t decide if this is hilarious or ridiculous.
I’ll be poll-watching as part of the legal Voter Protection Team here in Washington. It’s gonna be a long day for me (about to hit the bed to get a relatively decent night’s sleep), but it will be well worth it. I see that Obama won Dixville Notch, the first of the election day voting. A good start to what will hopefully be a great day.
Uh-oh. The Canada Press (the Canadian version of AP) reports:
MONTREAL — A Quebec comedy duo notorious for prank calls to celebrities and heads of state has reached Sarah Palin, convincing the Republican vice-presidential nominee she was speaking with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
In the interview, which lasts about six minutes, Palin and the pranksters discuss politics, pundits, and the dangers of hunting with current vice-president Dick Cheney.
The Masked Avengers, who have a regular show on Montreal radio station CKOI, intend to air the full interview on the eve of the U.S. elections.
McCain won’t be happy with this.