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John Podesta says America's political system 'sucks'

By Michael Bearak     Feb 17, 2010 in Politics
Former White House chief of staff and chair of President Obama's transition team chose a single word to describe politics in the U.S., and it wasn't a flattering one either.
John Podesta knows a thing or two about being in the inner circles of Washington D.C. He is the CEO of the Center for American Progress, he served as the head of President Obama's transition team, he was the chief of staff for Bill Clinton and has a history on Capitol Hill that runs deeper than that. So when Podesta speaks about government and politics he has the pedigree to back it up too.
In a recent article with Financial Times, Podesta was asked his opinion on "the health of American political systems," Podesta had a simple one word answer: "Sucks."
He continued by expressing concern about the White House's ability to pass larger agenda items with the current state of America's political system. Podesta pointed a finger at the Republicans for the slowdown and he acknowledged there is a new "strengthened" conservative movement.
During the interview Podesta said, "I think the president is trying to re-engage with Republicans, but quite frankly he is not dealing with the party of Lincoln, he is dealing with the party of Palin and the party of McConnell and the party of Boehner."
Podesta's criticism extended to Obama as well, as he feels the president has "focused too much on the inside game of Congress during the health care debate, instead of communicating their broader goals to the electorate, particularly to independent voters."
In his mind there is still hope for both the health care bill and a new energy legislation; he feels that there are avenues for the president to maneuver, he just needs to identify them and explore them as well.
John Podesta is the president and CEO of the Center for American Progress. He is also the a visiting law professor at Georgetown University Law Center. He got his undergraduate degree from Knox College and his law degree from Georgetown. You can learn more about the Center for American Progress at their website.
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