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   This Is Change? 20 Hawks, Clintonites and Neocons to Watch for in Obama's White House

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11/20/2008 10:00 pm

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Commentary

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Entered 11/23/2008, Updated 11/23/2008

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U.S. policy is not about one individual, and no matter how much faith people place in President-elect Barack Obama, the policies he enacts will be fruit of a tree with many roots. Among them: his personal politics and views, the disastrous realities his administration will inherit, and, of course, unpredictable future crises. But the best immediate indicator of what an Obama administration might look like can be found in the people he surrounds himself with and who he appoints to his Cabinet. And, frankly, when it comes to foreign policy, it is not looking good. Obama has a momentous opportunity to do what he repeatedly promised over the course of his campaign: bring actual change. But the more we learn about who Obama is considering for top positions in his administration, the more his inner circle resembles a staff reunion of President Bill Clinton's White House. Although Obama brought some progressives on board early in his campaign, his foreign policy team is now dominated by the hawkish, old-guard Democrats of the 1990s. This has been particularly true since Hillary Clinton conceded defeat in the Democratic primary, freeing many of her top advisors to join Obama's team. "What happened to all this talk about change?" a member of the Clinton foreign policy team recently asked the Washington Post. "This isn't lightly flavored with Clintons. This is all Clintons, all the time."


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