From Obama defends experienced, centrist team by Joseph Williams:
President-elect Barack Obama, rejecting liberals' criticism of his emerging Cabinet, yesterday strongly defended his decision to choose more experienced, centrist aides for his inner circle, arguing that the nation needs sure hands in a time of turmoil - and that it's his job to bring the change he promised voters.
Seeking to reassure supporters worried that he's recycling" appointees from President Clinton's era, Obama suggested it is unrealistic to expect him to bypass the best people available simply because of ties to the last Democratic administration.Read more here.
However, liberal activists contend that Obama so far has gone too far in one direction, bringing in too many of the same Washington insiders and undermining his own message of change. Obama, they complain, hasn't given a top Cabinet job to a true liberal, and grumble about the expected appointments of rival Hillary Clinton - a centrist Democrat - as Obama's secretary of state an of Robert M. Gates, a Republican appointed by President Bush, to stay on as defense secretary for at least a year.
"I'm not in the camp that says, 'Give him a chance, because his vision will dominate,' " said Tom Hayden, a high-profile liberal and antiwar activist who said he supports Obama despite misgivings over his Cabinet picks. "I don't know what he's doing. This is not governing from the center. This is governing from the past."
Liberal bloggers, who helped fuel Obama's grass-roots fund-raising and volunteer armies, are particularly vocal in their critique of Obama's choices so far.