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For Obama, more FDR style Cabinet of cronies

Not quite the Lincoln “Cabinet of Rivals.”

President Barack Obama’s two latest choices for his Cabinetâ??one official and one almost sure to be named soon–are the latest signs that, in his second term, the president wants first and foremost an administration of close political associates he trusts and is comfortable with. Certainly, tapping Sally Jewell as secretary of the Interior and very likely naming Penny Pritzker as secretary of Commerce offer new evidence that, in contrast to what he considered in his first term a â??Cabinet of Rivalsâ? along the lines of Abraham Lincolnâ??s, Obama is now cobbling together a â??Cabinet of Cronies,â? along the lines of Franklin D. Rooseveltâ??s in 1933.

Interior Secretary-designate Jewell is touted by the White House largely because of her business background and experience as chief executive officer of Recreational Equipment, Inc. But, Jewell and husband Warren also, according to the New York Times, have made political contributions of of nearly $100,000 since the mide-1990s, almost exclusively to Democratic candidates and causes.�

The 53-year-old Prtizker, whose family built the Hyatt Hotels Corporation, has been a family friend of the Obamas in Chicago since the 1990s. She was a key fundraiser in Obamaâ??s 2004 Senate race and led the fundraising for his 2008 presidential race. Her nomination to succeed Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank is expected to be announced Thursday or Friday.

Jewell and Pritzker follow a pattern of politically simpatico choices that include Secretary of State John Kerry, who gave candidate Obama a strong endorsement at a critical point in his 2008 nomination fight with Hillary Clinton, and Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel, a Republican who all but endorsed Obama over John McCain in ’08. In many ways the latest choices are akin to those of FDR, who named a Cabinet made up exclusively of Democratic politicians who helped him become president, close associates from his New York governorship, and two Republicans for Roosevelt.

Written By

John Gizzi has come to be known as â??the man who knows everyone in Washingtonâ? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on whatâ??s going on in the nationâ??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as â??Gizzi on Politicsâ? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of â??Gizziâ??s America,â? video interviews that appear on Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. Johnâ??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com