Bill, Gore, Rubin Guide Obama in Spirit

Bill, Al Gore and Robert Rubin leave mark on transition
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 20, 2009 9:30 AM CST
Treasury Secretary-designate Timothy Geithner, left, and National Economic Council Director-designate Lawrence Summers are proteges of Robert Rubin.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Three of Barack Obama’s most important advisers will accompany him to the Oval Office only in spirit, Gerald Seib writes in the Wall Street Journal: Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and Robert Rubin. In leaving behind a healthy record as Democratic building blocks, the Clinton years left Obama “what we didn’t have, which is a usable past,” says a Clinton transition member.

Gore has shaped the thinking of Obama’s energy and environmental teams; Obama’s environment “czar” worked for Gore, and Obama’s energy secretary is in the Gore mold on climate change. Obama’s top economic seats have been filled with protégés of Rubin, Clinton’s Treasury secretary. Bill himself is, of course, represented by his wife at State, and his “pragmatism and centrism” have deeply influenced Obama’s thinking.