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A couple of potentially disturbing reports today in the Wall Street Journal, one suggesting that Obama is not going to substantially rein in Bush-era intelligence activities and another reporting that Obama is leaning toward asking Bob Gates to stay on as secretary of defense.

There’s tremendous pressure to report out anything that can be gleaned about the transition, so there’s a tendency for every scrap of information to get blown out of proportion, making it tough to know how much credence to give any single report. Once you start piling analysis on top of thin reporting, you’ve got yourself a house of cards held together with conjecture and speculation.

So I’m inclined to keep my powder dry until things shake out a bit more, but watching very closely.

Late Update: On the Gates reappointment specifically, I can’t imagine a Republican President keeping any of the big four cabinet secretaries (State, Justice, Defense, Treasury) from a previous Democratic administration. Yet it seems as if the Democrats are expected to play nice. There is a decidedly unequal expectation that, after they decried the ravenous partisanship of the Bush era, the Democrats must not engage in any partisanship, which is a silly and even dangerous false equivalency.

For a different point of view on Gates, see Ackerman.

Later Update: Chris Matthews made a related point about this double standard on his show last night:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.
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