President Obama's appointment of another Republican to become army secretary on Monday appeared to be an olive branch to the GOP, but was it really a Trojan horse? Politico looks at the appointment and suggests a "stealth war." John McHugh's appointment "burnishes [Obama's] bipartisan credentials, opened up a seat prime for Democratic pickup and drained the GOP reservoir of one of the few remaining Northeastern moderates." Politico extrapolates: "It's an event that's happening with enough frequency to suggest the presence of a design, a plan that not only sketches the outline of a reelection strategy but manages to drive a wedge into the opposition at the same time. ... an audacious attempt by Obama to burn down any lines of escape for Republicans from their one refuge of popularity, the deep South." Obama has reached out to Republicans like Ray LaHood, John Huntsman, Arlen Specter, Judd Gregg, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Charlie Crist. "[I]t's beginning to look like a strategy that isolates conservatives, reinforces the impression that the GOP is defined by the borders of the Deep South and all the while underscores Obama's stated goal of working across party lines."
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