Sunday, October 23, 2016

Corporate Democrat watch: October 23

Politico is telling us that the Clinton transition process to the Presidency is well under way: Andrew Restuccia et al, Clinton's transition team hits the gas pedal 10/21/16.

The stakes are big on staffing a new Presidential Administration. So their will be a kaleidoscope of posturing and speculation going on from now until Inauguration Day in January. I notice this one is heavily sourced to people like
"one Democrat," "people close to the transition," "sources," "people familiar with the issue," "one person close to the 2008 transition," "Clinton campaign officials," "one policy expert who has spoken with members of the tight team."

Gossip, in other words. This is why Charlie Pierce calls this publication as Tiger Beat on the Potomac.

But some of this kind of reporting, gossip-sourced or not, will be trial balloons to test public reaction. This one, also from Tiger Beat Politico, may be one. "Sheryl Sandberg, the billionaire Facebook executive [CEO] whose book “Lean In” has made her an icon to women in the workplace, is getting lots of attention as a potential Treasury secretary under Hillary Clinton," they tell us. (Zachary Warmbrodt et al, Liberals wary as Facebook’s Sandberg eyed for Treasury 10/23/16)

The article frames the story this way:

But she’s also drawing red flags from progressives, who are suspicious about her ties to former Clinton administration Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, unhappy with Facebook’s international tax practices and wary about seeing the next Democratic White House stack its Cabinet with allies of big business.

That makes Sandberg an illustration of the lingering skepticism by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and other progressive Democrats about the staffing and economic policies of a Clinton presidency — even though Sandberg saidthis month that she has no intention of leaving Facebook. ...

Still, supporters say Sandberg — whose name has also been floated for commerce secretary — would bring many advantages to Clinton’s administration: Clinton's advisers view her as both highly progressive and experienced in the corporate sector through her years at Facebook and Google. She would be a high-profile woman in a Cabinet that Clinton has said would be at least 50 percent female. And in addition to writing “Lean In,” she has advised the Clinton campaign on women’s issues.
They also note (with a hint of regret?), "The debate also demonstrates the potential pitfalls that go along with vetting a billionaire for any top job in government, as well as growing anxiety in some circles that Facebook is part of an entrenched club of tech giants that have become all too powerful."

But such an appointment would have its fans, of course:

But Wall Street and other corporate executives are eager to see Clinton tap someone for Treasury with strong ties to business and view Sandberg as a strong choice. They say she has those relationships but comes out of Silicon Valley rather than Wall Street, making her a more difficult target for the left.

“It's not like she spent the last 20 years working at Morgan Stanley," said one Wall Street executive supportive of Sandberg for Treasury."
I'm not sure why these anonymous sources ("Wall Street and other corporate executives") think the left looks more kindly on giant Internet companies' misdeeds than on those of investment banks. In fact, they later quote an on-the-record source, Jeff Hauser fro an anti-corruption group, saying, "“There is a sense that Silicon Valley's becoming the new revolving door for Democrats as Wall Street has become toxic in the wake of the Great Recession." ... 'There are real dangers in some of the practices in Silicon Valley."

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