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January 24, 2011

Reinventing the White House

Must read piece from John Heilemann: "For Obama, retooling on this scale does not come naturally or happily. Among the hallmarks of his political career has been constancy: a tight and basically static cadre of close advisers and a stubborn resistance to calls for midcourse corrections. Yet in a series of interviews in early January with senior White House officials and many of Obama's closest confidants outside the building, a picture emerged of a president engaged in a searching, clear-eyed, and sometimes painful process of self-scrutiny, and now determined to implement a plan to fix what has ailed his enterprise -- and himself."

Late last year, Obama "did something out of character: He let the outside in. Scheduling the appointments himself, sometimes on the sly, he invited a passel of Washington wise men to meet with him in the Oval Office with no staff present ... former Clinton chiefs of staff John Podesta and Leon Panetta; former Reagan chief of staff Ken Duberstein; former Senate majority leader Tom Daschle and centrist jack-of-all-trades David Gergen; and, of course, Bill Clinton ... Longtime Clinton consigliere Vernon Jordan... Matthew Dowd, who served as chief strategist for the 2004 Bush-Cheney reelection campaign."


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