President Obama Appoints Friends and Allies Before Leaving


President Obama has made last minute appointments for his friends, celebrities, and political allies before he leaves office Friday.

The White House announced a whole wave of appointments this week to a variety of commissions, boards, and other positions, of which most are unpaid, but still come with the power of prestige and influence for those chosen.

Here is a list of just a few of Obama’s appointments:

  • National Security Adviser Susan Rice and senior adviser Valerie Jarrett as general trustees of the Board of Trustees for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
  • Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes and former Michelle Obama head speechwriter Sarah Hurwitz as members of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council.
  • Deputy National Security Adviser Avril Haines as a member of the National Commission on Military, National and Public Service.
  • Chelsea Clinton’s mother-in-law, Marjorie Margolies, as a member on the Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad.

David Goodfriend, former deputy staff secretary to President Bill Clinton, told “there is nothing wrong” with such appointments.

Goodfriend said, “They’re all Americans and great public servants, and we’re lucky to have them continue to serve.”

Obama also appointed some athletes to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition:

  • Retired NBA star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, also a vocal critic of President-elect Donald Trump.
  • Gabrielle Douglas, U.S. Olympic gymnast gold medalist.
  • American soccer player Carli Lloyd.

Fox News reported that the term limits for these posts range from four years to life.

“This is sending a clear signal to Congress about who are the people who are qualified for these jobs, and this can send clear signals, both in terms of career trajectory, and that the president has confidence in their ability,” Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in a Tuesday briefing. “Even if they’re not confirmed, there may be future opportunities where they can continue to serve the United States.”

Richard Painter, White House ethics attorney under George W. Bush, told that “while there were a large number of appointments, they were to relatively low-level posts.”

Painter said, “You have a 98 percent takeover by the new administration, but you will have some people on these boards who are carryovers, and I think that’s good for the bipartisan nature of this country. It’s a quite dramatic shift from one party to another, and it works, but I do think there should be some participation from Democrats in this new administration—you’ll have Democrats working with Republicans, and it will help socially.”

H/T: Fox News

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