Friday, January 8, 2010

The best and the brightest

Janine Wedel is getting lots of attention for her book Shadow Elite: How the World's New Power Brokers Undermine Democracy, Government, and the Free Market. But is the attention justified?  Has she simply taken the fundamental idea that there is a core group of talented and smart people, on both sides of the political equation, that move between government and the private sector and works hard to move their agenda's forward. From Kennedy's Harvard mafia to Reagan's California kitchen cabinet to Clinton's DLC advisor's to Obama's own search for the best and the brightest, there is absolutely nothing new about these practices.  Advisors come and go with Presidents and administrations.  We change administrations and we change advisors and cabinet members.  In turn, the old advisors become a kind of shadow government.  Think of the British system and their permanent shadow government.  We don't have this, we have businesses and think tanks that serve a similar purpose.  Yet Janine Wedel tries hard to make something sinister about this common practice.

My conversation with Jeanie Wedel:

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