Policy Veterans Provide Steadying Hand for Obama

Supplementing outsiders with seasoned policy players good move so far
By Sam Biddle,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 7, 2008 6:42 PM CDT
Barack Obama has drawn upon an eclectic mix of Washington insiders and outsiders to form his campaign policy.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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(Newser) – Supplementing a team of outsiders with some key veterans on domestic policy appears to have been a shrewd move by Barack Obama’s campaign, Jonathan Cohn writes in the New Republic. A case in point is Jason Furman, a star of the later (righter) stages of the Clinton administration who is adept at finding the “magical sweet spot where good politics meets good policy.”

Many feared Furman, brought aboard earlier this summer, might drag Obama toward the right, but he’s proven an asset—refining Obama’s stance on health care and sounding out economists from his Clinton days. “It was the outsiders … who got Obama this far, and it will be the outsiders who carry him to a victory,” Cohn notes. “Picking up a few insiders like Furman just makes that outcome a little more likely.”