Appointments Signal Shift From Candidate to Prez

National security team shows transition from candidate to leader
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2008 7:30 AM CST
President-elect Barack Obama and Secretary of State-designate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-NY, walk out together after a news conference in Chicago, Monday, Dec. 1, 2008.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – Yesterday's unveiling of Barack Obama's national security team did more than just end the rancor between him and Hillary Clinton; it established Obama as leader of a broad coalition that may transform his own views on American power. As Peter Baker writes for the New York Times, Obama's partnership with Clinton, whose diplomatic judgment he once mocked, and Robert Gates, who is running a war he denounced as "dumb", signals his conversion from candidate to leader.

Obama ran for president as an anti-war candidate, but his insistence that he will "listen to the recommendations of my commanders" about an Iraq withdrawal puts him closer to Clinton and Gates than to the grass-roots Democrats who supported him early on. Yet while one plank of Obama's campaign appears to be in abeyance, another is gaining credibility: yesterday, the Brookings Institute and the Council on Foreign Relations called on the US to open direct talks with Iran without preconditions.