Obama: by his friends you shall know him
With the initial euphoria of the election of the first "black" president of the United States of America slowly subsiding, it is time to take a good look at the colour of Obama's politics rather than skin. It quickly becomes apparent then that there won't be much change after all. Early on in his campaign, Barack Obama gave a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) indicating his unwavering support for Israel. His selection of staff and advisers confirms that he is not going back on his word.
Obama's campaign manager was David Axelrod, an American Jew from Manhattan, who will be rewarded with the post of Chief White House advisor. As Chief of Staff, Obama selected Rahm Israel Emanuel, who also holds Israeli citizenship and served as a volunteer in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). John Podesta, also Jewish, heads the new president's transition team. Likely candidates for treasury secretary are Lawrence (Larry) Summers, Timothy Franz Geithner, and Paul Volcker, all Jewish. John Kerry, whose parents converted from Judaism to Roman Catholicism, might become Secretary of State. An exception with regard to kosher credentials might be former CIA director Robert Gates, who could be invited to stay on as defence secretary - not much change in Iraq or Afghanistan then. James (Jim) Steinberg, likely to become National Security Advisor, is part of the tribe again, as is another contender for this post, Dennis Ross, who was Clinton's Middle East Envoy. The few expected black appointments will be safe choices, such as Susan Rice, potential Ambassador to the UN, a former protege of the infamous Madeleine Albright.
So colour really doesn't matter all that much. Those who hope that the Bush administration's unconditional support for Israeli aggression might change with Obama will be in for a nasty surprise. Of course, McCain wouldn't have been any different. And just for the record: Given that only about three percent of the American population are Jewish, their heavy concentration in the corridors of power is, of course, purely coincidental!