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America First!

I was raised by people who believed in “My country right or wrong.”  I was taught that America never started a war and never lost a war.  Reading Burry My Heart at Wounded Knee and an honest appraisal of the War of 1812 disabused me of those two notions.  While the jingoist attitude of blind acceptance and unreflective loyalty and unquestioning support for a sacred homeland are not descriptive of my life I am devoted to the enlightenment ideas enshrined in the Constitution.

I am a vocal proponent of the nation founded on the proposition that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.  I am a proud supporter of the federal republic founded in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.

I am an avowed non-interventionist capitalist who believes passionately in individual liberty, personal freedom, and economic opportunity.  I was a Republican all my life, working my first campaign ringing door bells for Nixon in 1960, supporting Goldwater, Reagan for Governor and then for president in 1976, 1980, and 84.

George H.W. Bush with his compassionate conservatism and new world order turned me off.  Bob “It’s my Turn” Dole discouraged me and after the Contract with America Congress veered off the rails and started pushing bigger government and crony capitalism I quit the party and became an independent.  George the Second pushed me over the edge.  I could no longer consider myself a Conservative because there was nothing left to conserve, so I began to style myself as a radical who believes in a return to limited government, individual liberty, personal freedom, and economic opportunity.

The Clinton interlude between the Bush bookends and the Obamanation I have viewed as akin to the Vichy regime in France during WW II.  They were and are mere figureheads for the multinational corporations and international organizations to which they surrendered our independence doing their best to institutionalize the Corporate State.

I have long believed and advocated for the following policies.

Moratoriums on all immigration until those who are already here are assimilated.   Initiate policies which will induce those who are here illegally to self-deport.  These policies would include a cut off of public assistance and an E-verify law with teeth meaning significant fines for people who employ illegals and incarceration for those who have multiple offenses.   In foreign policy, resigning as the policeman of the world by ending our far-flung system of bases in more than a hundred countries, leaving Europe and Korea to defend themselves, bringing our troops home, securing the border and our defenses with the strongest military in the world and stop intervening in places that are not in our national interest.

Yes, I know that these proposals will be called racist, xenophobic and anti-American by the open borders clique; however, to quote Ronaldus Magnus, “A nation that cannot control its borders is not a nation.”  They will also be opposed by the neo-con hawks as isolationist.  I stand with Ron Paul when he says, “The Founders and all the early presidents argued the case for non-intervention overseas, with the precise goals of avoiding entangling alliances and not involving our people in foreign wars unrelated to our security.”

Yes, I know tariffs will make prices rise for many goods.  However, I also know that we need to rebuild our industrial base if we are to remain an independent nation capable of providing jobs for our people that support a middleclass lifestyle and a nation that can provide for its own defense.

Yes, I know that a non-interventionist resignation from being the policeman of the world is portrayed as a retreat and as abdicating our leadership of the world.  I call it jettisoning the empire to save the republic.

These positions have been heretical within the globalist interventionist neo-con Republican Party of Bush, McCain, Krauthammer, and the National Review.  However, today is a new day and perhaps there is a chance to right the Ship of State and resurrect the greatest experiment in human freedom in History before we plunge into the dustbin of History as another centralized collectivist utopia that will inevitably end up a dystopian nightmare.

Now we face a choice of historic proportions.  Do we want Hillary “The Nail in Our Coffin” Clinton to complete the transfer of American sovereignty to international globalist cabals such as the WTO and the UN?  Or are we willing to vote for the first candidate since Reagan with the courage to even say, “America First”?

I am still an independent.  I will not rejoin the Republican Party unless and until it has been purged of its globalist leadership.  However, I have waited my entire life to hear a politician say what The Donald said in his speech of June 28, 2016 “Declaring America’s Economic Independence.”  In this speech he outlines a program I can endorse 100%.

Mr. Trump said in that speech,

This wave of globalization has wiped out our middle class.

It doesn’t have to be this way. We can turn it all around – and we can turn it around fast.

But if we’re going to deliver real change, we’re going to have to reject the campaign of fear and intimidation being pushed by powerful corporations, media elites, and political dynasties.

The people who rigged the system for their benefit will do anything – and say anything – to keep things exactly as they are.

The people who rigged the system are supporting Hillary Clinton because they know as long as she is in charge nothing will ever change.

The inner cities will remain poor.

The factories will remain closed.

The borders will remain open.

The special interests will remain firmly in control.

Hillary Clinton and her friends in global finance want to scare America into thinking small – and they want to scare the American people out of voting for a better future.

My campaign has the opposite message.

I want you to imagine how much better your life can be if we start believing in America again.

I want you to imagine how much better our future can be if we declare independence from the elites who’ve led us to one financial and foreign policy disaster one after another.

This is the message I have been waiting for all my life.  This message is clear and direct.  Trump often speaks off the top of his head.  He speaks his mind and often says things which offend the politically correct media and by extension those who slavishly believe and follow the Progressive’s multi-mouthed Pravda.  However this speech was scripted.  He used a teleprompter to deliver it and its text has been released as an official campaign document.

I know that in the divided America of the 21st century many who have followed the History of the Future for years will be angry with what I have to say next. Some may be surprised and some may be disappointed.  However I have to do what I believe is the best for my country.  Therefore, I have decided to endorse and support Donald Trump.  Some may say you can’t believe what he says.  A man I greatly respect says, “All politicians lie.  The good ones do it convincingly.”  That may be true.

Just as Eve did not sin because she believed the serpent and just as if you donate to a charity that you honestly believe will do good and they waste the money that is not your responsibility that is on them.  I believe Donald Trump.  I believe he honestly wants to make America great again, and I am 100% for that.

While I encourage everyone to read the entire speech or listen to it on YouTube and it is too long to include verbatim in this article I want to end by sharing his trade program for rebuilding America.

A Trump Administration will change our failed trade policy – quickly

Here are 7 steps I would pursue right away to bring back our jobs.

One: I am going to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which has not yet been ratified.

Two: I’m going to appoint the toughest and smartest trade negotiators to fight on behalf of American workers.

Three: I’m going to direct the Secretary of Commerce to identify every violation of trade agreements a foreign country is currently using to harm our workers. I will then direct all appropriate agencies to use every tool under American and international law to end these abuses.

Four: I’m going tell our NAFTA partners that I intend to immediately renegotiate the terms of that agreement to get a better deal for our workers. And I don’t mean just a little bit better, I mean a lot better. If they do not agree to a renegotiation, then I will submit notice under Article 2205 of the NAFTA agreement that America intends to withdraw from the deal.

Five: I am going to instruct my Treasury Secretary to label China a currency manipulator. Any country that devalues their currency in order to take advantage of the United States will be met with sharply

Six: I am going to instruct the U.S. Trade Representative to bring trade cases against China, both in this country and at the WTO. China’s unfair subsidy behavior is prohibited by the terms of its entrance to the WTO, and I intend to enforce those rules.

Seven: If China does not stop its illegal activities, including its theft of American trade secrets, I will use every lawful presidential power to remedy trade disputes, including the application of tariffs consistent with Section 201 and 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 and Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.

President Reagan deployed similar trade measures when motorcycle and semiconductor imports threatened U.S. industry. His tariff on Japanese motorcycles was 45% and his tariff to shield America’s semiconductor industry was 100%.

Hillary Clinton, and her campaign of fear, will try to spread the lie that these actions will start a trade war. She has it completely backwards.

Hillary Clinton unleashed a trade war against the American worker when she supported one terrible trade deal after another – from NAFTA to China to South Korea.

A Trump Administration will end that war by getting a fair deal for the American people.

The era of economic surrender will finally be over.

A new era of prosperity will finally begin.

America will be independent once more.

Under a Trump Presidency, the American worker will finally have a President who will protect them and fight for them.

We will stand up to trade cheating anywhere and everywhere it threatens an American job.

We will make America the best place in the world to start a business, hire workers, and open a factory.

This includes massive tax reform to lift the crushing burdens on American workers and businesses.

We will also get rid of wasteful rules and regulations which are destroying our job creation capacity.

Many people think that these regulations are an even greater impediment than the fact that we are one of the highest taxed nations in the world.

We are also going to fully capture America’s tremendous energy capacity. This will create vast profits for our workers and begin reducing our deficit. Hillary Clinton wants to shut down energy production and shut down the mines.

A Trump Administration will also ensure that we start using American steel for American infrastructure.

Just like the American steel from Pennsylvania that built the Empire State building.

It will be American steel that will fortify American’s crumbling bridges.

It will be American steel that sends our skyscrapers soaring into the sky.

It will be American steel that rebuilds our inner cities.

It will be American hands that remake this country, and it will be American energy – mined from American resources – that powers this country.

It will be American workers who are hired to do the job.

We are going to put American-produced steel back into the backbone of our country. This alone will create massive numbers of jobs.

On trade, on immigration, on foreign policy, we are going to put America First again.

We are going to make America wealthy again.

We are going to reject Hillary Clinton’s politics of fear, futility, and incompetence.

We are going to embrace the possibilities of change.

It is time to believe in the future.

It is time to believe in each other.

It is time to Believe In America.

This Is How We Are Going To Make America Great Again – For All Americans.

We Are Going To Make America Great Again For Everyone – Greater Than Ever Before.

I don’t know about anyone else but that is a program I can believe in and one that I believe will lead to a rebirth of the American economy.

Hopefully I won’t end up living out the words spoken by a character in a book I wrote many years ago who when asked why he supported a disreputable candidate running for president who was a plain-speaking non-politician and the richest man in the world said, “I know he’s a liar but I like what he says.”

So far I like what he says.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2016 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

 

How Many Nails Does it Take to Seal a Coffin

How many lopsided trade deals does it take to teach a nation they are being sold down the river? Apparently it takes one more than we have.

After months of secrecy President Obama has the chutzpa to throw the thing online and challenge people to read it. Saying “Along with the text of the agreement, we’ve posted detailed materials to help explain it. It’s an unprecedented degree of transparency — and it’s the right thing to do.”

Sounds great doesn’t it? How open. How accessible. Give it a quick read and let’s get on with the job of selling out our heritage for a bowl for oatmeal.

The next time you have a few moments free between jobs why not give it a go. It is only 5,544 pages containing 2,056,560 words which is according to the Daily Caller:

  • 18x longer than the King James Bible
  • 77x longer than the Affordable Care Act
  • 63x longer than the entire Harry Potter series
  • 73x longer than the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy
  • 06x longer than the entire Game of Thrones series
  • 33x longer than the entire works of Shakespeare
  • 65x longer than the New Oxford American Dictionary 3rd Edition

Just take a little break from trying to make ends meet while you compete with workers around the world making ten dollars a day and make a decision about whether we should take another bite of the free trade apple. Of course no matter what you decide the twin headed party of power in Chicago on the Potomac is going to shove this give away of American jobs and prosperity down your throat.

TPP is an agreement between the United States and 11 other countries – Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. China is not a party to this treaty.

According to Public Citizen:

The TPP would expand the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) “trade” pact model that has spurred massive U.S. trade deficits and job loss, downward pressure on wages, unprecedented levels of inequality and new floods of agricultural imports. The TPP not only replicates, but expands NAFTA’s special protections for firms that offshore U.S. jobs. And U.S. TPP negotiators literally used the 2011 Korea FTA – under which exports have fallen and trade deficits have surged – as the template for the TPP.

In one fell swoop, this secretive deal could:

 

 

Although it is called a “free trade” agreement, the TPP is not mainly about trade. Of TPP’s 29 draft chapters, only five deal with traditional trade issues. One chapter would provide incentives to offshore jobs to low-wage countries. Many would impose limits on government policies that we rely on in our daily lives for safe food, a clean environment, and more. Our domestic federal, state and local policies would be required to comply with TPP rules.

So if the stagnant or falling wages of the last few decades have left you feeling as if you haven’t given enough hold on because the DC Leviathan is about to ask for more.

I would now make a plea for everyone to call their senators and congressman but does anyone believe that would make a difference. This is just another milestone on the road to the 3rd world by those who seek to fundamentally transform America. Then along comes Hillary, the nail in our coffin.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2015 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

 

 

 

I’m Standing With Pat

PAT-BUCHANAN-large570

I am proud to say I have been a viewer, reader, and supporter of Pat Buchanan for decades.  I have watched all the different shows that he has either participated in or founded.  His career as a commentator has stretched from the 1970’s with his radio program the Buchanan – Barden Program and his commentaries for NBC.  His work in television has helped shape a whole industry of imitators.  He founded Crossfire on CNN and was a founding member of the McLaughlin Group.  He was also a founding member of the Capital Gang on PBS.

As a journalist he started at 23 as the youngest editorial writer on a major newspaper in America: The St. Louis Globe-Democrat.  He then became the first full-time staffer on Richard Nixon’s legendary comeback campaign in 1966.  He traveled with the future President in the campaigns of 1966 and 1968, served as special assistant through the final days of Watergate, and stayed on in the Ford White House until 1974.  He returned to the White House in the 1980’s as Communications Director for Ronald Reagan.

In his White House years, Mr. Buchanan wrote foreign policy speeches, and attended four summits, including Mr. Nixon’s historic opening to China in 1972, and Ronald Reagan’s Reykjavik summit in1986 with Mikhail Gorbachev.

In 1992 Pat made a heroic run for the presidency against President George H. W. Bush, seriously challenging Bush, and winning 38 percent of the votes in the New Hampshire primary garnering more than three million total votes in the primaries.  His speech, the Culture War speech, at the Republican Convention still stirs the hearts of Americans.

In 1996 he ran for the presidency again.  His opponents were Senator Bob Dole, Senator Phil Gramm of Texas, former Tennessee Governor Lamar Alexander, and publisher Steve Forbes.  Pat defeated Senator Bob Dole in the New Hampshire primary, he won three other states (Alaska, Missouri, and Louisiana), and finished only slightly behind Dole in the Iowa caucus.  He eventually bowed out of the race when it became apparent that Dole, the establishment candidate was going to win the nomination.

In 2000 Pat ran for President as the candidate of the Reform Party, which had been founded by Ross Perot in the 1990’s.  He lost this bid receiving 449,895 votes, 0.4% of the popular vote.

Pat has written ten books, including six straight New York Times best sellers A Republic, Not an Empire; The Death of the West; Where the Right Went Wrong; State of Emergency; Day of Reckoning and Churchill, Hitler and The Unnecessary War.  All of which I have read and highly recommend.  His newest book is The Greatest Comeback.

He is the founder of The American Conservative the flagship magazine for paleoconservative thought and his editorials are found all over the web.

In other words Pat Buchanan, in my estimation, is a national treasure and the Godfather of the Paleoconservative.  As I said, I am proud to identify as a follower of Pat Buchanan, his politics, and his thoughts.

In its effort to mobilize support for the latest round of Free Trade giveaways that bastion of Neocon Globalization, the Wall Street Journal has tried to use Pat Buchanan as a whipping boy. They have tried to lay the blame for their own pet policies at the door of the one man who more than anyone else has tried to warn us about the very consequences that are dragging us from the first world to the third.

In an editorial dated May 10th 2015 the Journal said:

Here we go again. In the 1990s Pat Buchanan launched a civil war within the Republican Party on a platform targeting immigration and trade. Some claimed Pitchfork Pat was the future of the GOP, though in the end he mainly contributed to its presidential defeats.

In the waning days of the Obama Presidency the GOP’s Buchanan wing is making a comeback, and in ways that are revealing about its ultimate agenda. The leader of this movement in Congress is Jeff Sessions, who has long railed against illegal immigration but since becoming chairman of the Senate’s subcommittee on immigration has taken a more public stance against legal immigration.

Now he’s opposing the bipartisan effort to pass trade promotion authority and in the process showing that his objections aren’t only about the law or immigrants. They’re rooted in the same hostility to markets and globalization that animates the slow-growth Democratic left.

This is like the man who convinced you to sell your house for a bag of magic beans blaming the man who told you a house is worth more than beans for you ending up with a bag of beans.

Pat warned us about NAFTA, GATT and MFN for China.  He told us these things would lead to the gutting of American manufacturing.  The Wall Street Journal and the Amen Choir over at the Chamber of Commerce cheered them on.  What has been the result?  Between 2000 and 2010, 55,000 U.S. factories closed and 5 million to 6 million manufacturing jobs disappeared along with the middle class lives they used to provide.

Since these Free Trade boondoggles have been shoved down our throats we have consistently run multibillion dollar trade deficits with China. Last year’s deficit was $325 billion, or twice China’s defense budget. It is all this money draining from our economy to China’s that allows them to build a world-class military that is poised to challenge America for supremacy in Asia.

The Journal accuses Pat of being anti-growth. However as Pat points out,  “as trade surpluses add to a nation’s GDP, trade deficits subtract from it. Does the Journal think our $11 trillion in trade deficits since 1992 represents a pro-growth policy?”

Back in 1992 when there were 3 or 4 million illegals in America. Pat campaigned to secure the borders.  That didn’t happen and now there are 11, 12, who knows how many million illegals and more pouring in every day.  Is this good for America or is it bad?  The Journal and the open borders crowd call Pat a xenophobe.  I call him a patriot.

Pat has also called for a moratorium on immigration as we had from 1924-1965 so that those who are here can be assimilated and become Americanized.  I believe that one reason America is great, one reason why we have developed the most vibrant and lively society in the History of the world is because we have subsumed the best people from everywhere.  All of us except the Native Americans are immigrants.  We have come from every country on the globe.  And together we have morphed into one people.  We used to brag about the great melting pot of American society.  This is what Pat is urging we once again use to incubate our newer arrivals as they become us.  Instead the Journal and the other hyphenated American cheerleaders urge us to become a smelting pot leading to what Teddy Roosevelt called, a “polyglot boarding-house”

Now that 100% of the job growth since 2000 has gone to immigrants.  Now that illegals feel secure enough to emerge from the shadows and hold public demonstrations outside the White House as well as in the middle of major cities.  Now that schools are forced to teach in dozens sometimes hundreds of different languages. Now that more than 60.6 million or 20.8 or 1/5 of American households do not speak English in their homes.  Now that this is the reality we all face who was right about the open borders?  Pat who wanted us to take a break and assimilate our new arrivals or those who wanted the cheap labor and the support of undocumented voters?

What about our rapidly deteriorating foreign policy?  Pat supported the attack on the Taliban in Afghanistan but counseled a quick withdrawal once its objectives had been met.  He opposed the invasion of Iraq pointing out that this country had not attacked us and did not pose a threat to our vital interests.  The Neocon leadership still has us nation building in Afghanistan, and Iraq has become the quagmire Pat predicted.

If we had been following Pat’s advice on trade, immigration, and foreign policy we would be safer, richer, and more secure.

If the Neocons are going to use Pat Buchanan as a whipping boy they should know there are those who see him for what he really is: a visionary, a leader, a patriot, and a great American.  So when it comes to the current debate over who lost America I’m standing where I have for decades.  I’m standing with Pat.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2015 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

Tomorrow Begins Today

Today America’s leaders, ignoring the example of Dr. Kissinger, have abandoned realpolitik. Otto von Bismarck, the Iron Chancellor who united Germany coined the term.  In its original German it means “the politics of reality.” According to the tenets of realpolitik, foreign policy has only one purpose: the security of the state.  Instead our leaders have subverted it to crusading for the touchy feely advancement of causes and ideologies. 

The recent visit of Hu Jintao, the President of Communist China, revealed the fruits of this strategy.  Prior to his arrival he demeaned the status of our currency and announced that he will not compromise over trade deals radically skewed in China’s favor.  And why should he?  He, along with the rest of the world, have taken their measure of  our current leadership and they know even if they don’t receive the infamous bow they will receive the deference reserved for everyone except our traditional allies.

Our trade policies force us to open our markets while those of our trading partners are blocked by fees and regulations.  Our foreign policy is littered with wars we aren’t allowed to win and we won’t stop fighting.  Our once dominate high technology has been given away or stolen.  Our once predominate industrial base has been shipped overseas. And our once prevailing credit surplus has been changed into the biggest debt in History.  This is the record of the last twenty years, and a record that reminds me of an old song, “Once I built a railroad, I made it run, made it race against time.  Once I built a railroad; now it’s done. Brother, can you spare a dime? ”

Ronald Reagan emerged through the ridicule and derision of the establishment to take realpolitik to its logical conclusion: engineering the destruction of the Evil Empire and the absolute ascendancy of the United States.  Since he left the scene our Presidents have led a steady advance to the rear. The North American Free Trade Act ( NAFTA) opened the flood gates as co-called free trade gutted our industrial base.  Social engineering and the colossal spending it requires have bankrupted us. 

Are we to be the generation that drops the ball?  Each generation of Americans has bequeathed to their posterity a land stronger than they received.  We were handed the unquestioned leadership of the world and after less than two decades we have frittered it away.  If we are to reverse the slide we must make the decision that from this day forward we will chart a new course.  From this day forward we will face reality and do the hard things necessary to reclaim our greatness and preserve the heritage of America for our children

What are the solutions to the seemingly unsolvable problems we face?  They aren’t hard; mostly they’re just common sense.  Government and people stop over spending and live within your means.  Lower or repeal all taxes.  Cut the regulations on everything.  Abandon so-called free trade and seek equitable trade.  End the wars.  Quit being the policeman of the world.  Bring our troops home.  Seal the borders.  Admit that Social Security has been a ponzi scheme since day one.  Realize that all the money we’ve paid into it over the years has been flushed down a rat hole. It isn’t there.  Now Figure out a fix with that in mind.  Drill baby drill and approve a few permits to build some new refineries while you’re at it.  And if we must buy oil quit buying it from people who hate us in areas where they don’t want us.  Instead buy our oil from Mexico.  This would pump money into our neighbor’s economy instead of Al Qaeda’s and perhaps our neighbor’s citizens might want to stay in their own country.  Quit apologizing for our past and put America first. 

If we’re to have a tomorrow we must make today count.  We must live each day as a day worth living for each day lived is one less we have to live, and there are only so many days.  Today is the day to make tomorrow happen.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com View the trailer for Dr. Owens’ latest book @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ypkoS0gGn8 © 2011 Robert R. Owens dr.owens@comcast.net  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook.

Daley Pick Signals Growing Detente with Business

Thursday, 06 Jan 2011 By David A. Patten

The Obama White House’s links to the Chicago political machine grew even stronger Thursday, with the appointment of former Clinton-era Commerce Secretary William M. Daley as White House chief of staff.

Daley, younger brother of Chicago’s current mayor Richard M. Daley, will serve as permanent successor to former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel.

Emanuel resigned in October to campaign for mayor of Chicago.

In announcing the appointment Thursday afternoon, Obama praised Daley as “an experienced public civil servant, a devoted patriot.” He also called him “my friend and fellow Chicagoan.”

Naming Daley to the powerful chief of staff post could signal that Obama’s detente with big business prior to the 2012 election is now in full swing.

Unlike Emanuel, Daley brings strong business credentials to the White House. A free-trader who championed former President Clinton’s NAFTA initiatives, Daley spent nearly seven years as a senior executive at J.P. Morgan Chase.

The Daley appointment suggests Obama, who was never considered an insider in the Chicago political machine, has traveled full circle in his view of the central significance of the private sector.

In a December 2009 “60 Minutes” interview, Obama stated, “I did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of fat-cat bankers on Wall Street.”

Now, just 13 months later, Obama has named one of those Wall Street bankers to help run his administration.

According to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, who himself announced yesterday he will leave the White House after the president’s State of the Union address later this month, characterized the current staff shuffle in the White House as “a pretty major retooling.”

On the surface, the choice of Daley, a skilled administrator who is well liked by the media, suggests that Obama is once again ignoring pundits who say he should open his administration up to outside voices.

Daley, 62, is not an Obama insider. But he and the president often crossed paths in Chicago, met on several occasions, and were said to share a mutual respect.

The significance of the Daley appointment will be both symbolic and substantive. He will fill a role that many pundits believe is second only to the president’s in terms of Washington’s most valued currency, power.

Daley’s rise to power will be closely scrutinized for signals indicating the direction of “Obama 2.0” — the new mid-course correction that the president promised in the wake of Democrats’ Nov.2 midterm “shellacking.”

With longtime Obama aides Gibbs and senior adviser David Axelrod leaving the White House in coming weeks, Daley will have a unique opportunity to shape both the tone and direction of the final two years of Obama’s first term, which will be critical to his hopes to win re-election.

Emanuel was known for a sharp-elbowed politics and profane tirades that contrasted starkly with promises then-candidate Obama made to reduce the partisan rancor in Washington. Daley is considered a more even-tempered centrist.

Emanuel became a lightning rod for liberal Democrats, who felt he was pushing the administration too far toward the center politically.

On that count, the choice of Daley is unlikely to placate the president’s critics on the left.

Although progressive standard-bearer Howard Dean endorsed the Daley selection as a “huge plus,” Daley’s appointment also signals that the administration recognizes it must conduct damage repair with the U.S. business community.

For months, CEOs have complained about hostile administration rhetoric, job-killing uncertainty, and the thousands of pages of regulations contained in the president’s signature pieces of legislation.

It is likely no coincidence then that the White House also announced Thursday that the president will present a speech on Feb. 7 to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber has probably challenged President Obama’s big-government agenda more than any other group in Washington.

The chamber spent over $35 million to elect Republicans in November.

In an October campaign rally in Maryland, President Obama intimated that the chamber’s activities were disreputable, saying: “So groups that receive foreign money are spending huge sums to influence American elections, and they won’t tell you where the money for their ads come from.”

Asked by “Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer how the administration knew the chamber’s campaign ad money was coming from foreign sources, which would be illegal, senior adviser David Axelrod shot back, “Well, do you have any evidence that it’s not, Bob?”

Thomas J. Donohue, the president and CEO of the chamber, praised the Daley appointment Thursday.

Donohue called Daley “a man of stature and extraordinary experience in government, business, trade negotiations, and global affairs.”

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