While it's still early - the new president won't take office until January 20 - it appears that many of the concerns voiced on this page and in our community about an Obama administration may have been ill founded. The appointment of Congressman Rahm Emanuel as White House chief of staff and the expected choice of Senator Hillary Clinton as secretary of state should put to rest fears that Mr. Obama harbors any deep-seated animosity toward the Jewish state.
As has been widely reported, Mr. Emanuel was an IDF civilian volunteer during the first Gulf War, has been an unabashed supporter of Israel while in Congress, and his father fought in the Irgun. The fact that the president-elect chose someone with Mr. Emanuel's background to oversee his White House speaks volumes.
As for Sen. Clinton, she has long erased any reasonable doubt as to where her sympathies are regarding the Middle East. Indeed, she has emerged as one of Israel's strongest Senate supporters of the Jewish state. While we have no doubt that Mr. Obama's apparent selection of Sen. Clinton had a lot to do with domestic politics, it still is instructive that he chose as secretary of state someone with such a strong record on Israel... A secretary of state named Hillary Clinton will assuage many of our doubts. It is also reassuring to hear that Mr. Obama is seriously considering retaining Robert Gates as secretary of defense.
Ok, show of hands: Who else was shocked to see the Jewish Press not only compliment Hillary Clinton, but acknowledge that she's been one of Israel's fabulous friends? I know I was. If Yeshiva World News ever finds the courage to come to a similar realization I'll eat my hat. (Note: It isn't a Borcalino)
All in all, Obama has chosen some very high-quality people-- along with the Jewish Press, even David Brooks, house conservative at the Times has admitted it. Isn't it great to have a grownup in charge?