When Barack Obama named the Machiavelli of the democratic left, Rahm Emanuel, as White House Chief of Staff, the move, amounting to the selection of “a wartime consigliere,” was widely interpreted as evidence of the new administration’s intention of pursuing a highly polarized agenda, rather than, as Obama promised throughout his campaign, moving beyond partisanship.
Further signs of President-elect Obama’s intentions will come with ongoing appointments. Transition team chief John Podesta promised major cabinet-level appointments would be announced next month.
US News & World Reports published an unofficial transition flowchart (.pdf), currently circulating within the Beltway, which has some real eye-openers: e.g., Al Gore as “Climate Czar” and druggie-playboy-turned-Conspiracy-Theorist-and-Environmental-Prophet Robert Kennedy, Jr. as head of the EPA.
Robert Kennedy, Jr.
Walter Olson recently sounded the alarm about this possible appointment in Forbes, profiling Kennedy’s recent career promoting scary theories about childhood vaccinations causing Autism (complete with a CDC cover-up shielding the Drug Industry), air pollution causing Down’s Syndrome, and the Republican Party stealing the 2004 election.