# Jason Furman

Obama not ready to "turn the page" on Clintonomics

Though you wouldn’t know it from reading various blogs that support Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee was barely distinguishable from Hillary Clinton on most issues.

TomP reminded me of this in his diary yesterday about Obama choosing “centrist economist Jason Furman as the top economic advisor for the campaign.”

Click the link to learn why labor unions and many progressive organizations, such as Wake Up Wal-Mart and Public Citizen, are “seething” over Obama’s selection of Furman. Among other things, Furman has defended Wal-Mart’s business model and published a 2005 paper labeling Wal-Mart “A Progressive Success Story.”

The Steelworkers’ Union and AFL-CIO are not happy either about Furman’s support for global trade agreements and other writings as head of the Hamilton Project (a centrist economic group started by Bill Clinton’s Treasury Secretary, Robert Rubin).

Some Obama supporters say choosing Hillary Clinton as his running mate would undercut his whole message of getting beyond the 1990s.

Until Obama demonstrates that he is committed to getting beyond Clintonomics, that argument won’t be very convincing.

Obama talked a good game in his speech last week to the Service Employees International Union, but actions speak louder than words. Wall Street and other corporate interests have too much power in the Democratic Party already. Putting Furman in charge of Obama’s economic policy team is a very worrying sign.

By the way, Colin Kahl is still the chairman of Obama’s advisory task force on Iraq:

Kahl is one of the authors of [the Center for a New American Security’s] new report, “Shaping the Iraq Inheritance,” which proposes a policy called “conditional engagement” for Iraq that would leave a large contingent of American forces in Iraq for several years, and which would make America’s presence in Iraq contingent on political progress in Iraq toward reconciliation among the country’s ethnic and sectarian groups and parties.

It’s been two months since reports emerged about Kahl’s support for leaving 60,000 to 80,000 U.S. troops in Iraq at least through the end of 2010. Why won’t Obama fire this guy?

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