Reflections on the Transition

Barack Obama has been pretty active these past few days. He's been announcing his Economic Team and outlining, at least in general terms, what he will do come January 20. He has made it clear that this is a unique time and it will require that the new team hits the road running. His team looks pretty familiar -- people from the Clinton Administration mostly. Timothy Geithner is currently President of the NY Fed and former Deputy Secretary of the Treasury will take the lead role in the new administration, assisted in the White House by former Treasury Secretary, Lawrence Summers. Some on the Left may not like these choices, but we're on the edge of disaster and thus need the folks who in some ways helped get us into this mess help get us out. They will be assisted by people like Bill Richardson at Commerce. Now, usually Commerce is one of those places you put your cronies, but in this case, as we work in a more global economy, what better decision than put a diplomat in charge. Tom Daschle is a high profile figure and put in charge of Health and Human Services. Excellent choices -- though at times pragmatic.

Next week Obama will name his National Security Team. Again, he's turning to experienced hands. Hillary Clinton is high profile, but the Clinton's are well regarded abroad. Robert Gates may not thrill some, but he's highly regarded on both sides of the aisle and will be in a good position to help bring about the withdrawal. It is, in my mind, an excellent interim choice.

Obama is showing that he's both an activist and a pragmatist. He will hit the ground running and institute broad ranging changes, but he's pragmatic enough to know that you have to do this in a non-ideological way.

Having taken on a new congregation, I've tried to hit the ground running, making what some might see as sweeping changes, but I've also tried to bring into the conversation those who might seem to have the most vested in the way things were. So, I understand Obama's actions.

If only we could jump start this by a quicker transition -- but in many ways Obama needs this time to put the team together. Let's just hope we can survive the lame duck period.

For direct info, go to Change.Gov

I give him an A+


Anonymous said…
Its interesting on why you supported Obama on how you would react. If you voted for "change", you are probably getting more angry by the day. His cabinet is stock full of Clinton retreads and government insiders.

As someone who didn't vote for O, I am pleased with many of the picks (except for Hillary.. stinks of some kind of political payback). Gload to see Paul Voulker is back.. however Geithner is an interesting choice. The first question for him is simply.. what were you doing in the NY Fed when all of this was going down the past two years??

I am just pleased we don't have a lot of completely random people with odd Chicago connections, so far I am ok with the picks. I will reserve any grades until AFTER they have done anything. Right now its like bring in football recruits or draft picks.. everyone looks great on paper.. what happens when they get in the game.


I expected Obama to bring in strong experienced people. He is a cautious, analytical thinker. I believe he will be one of our most intelligent presidents. Bringing in Hillary wasn't a payback, it was a recognition that she brought a high profile presence to an office that needs it at this moment.

You're right, you don't know how this will work out until they actually play the game.

As for change. Change comes at the top -- in terms of vision and strategy. Each of these picks help move the grand strategy forward. Obama is a strategic thinker, and thus not caught up in tactics. I think that was McCain's problem, he was more a seat of the pants, tactical thinker, which lead to constant movement -- no clear objective.

The change will come, but it will come in broad ways. But again, we must wait to see.
Anonymous said…
Don't get me wrong.. I am impressed so far with Obama. He is smart to talk about the economy while Bush stays quiet. I also think think there is some wisdom in Bush allowing Obama to take the spotlight and mantle these last few months. (feel free to call me biased on this one) Bush seems wise not to create waves right now, but just ride out into the sunset. Of course as he does.. the city he left behind is in flames rather than saved. LOL

I don't trust the Clintons.. I just don't. To say she is the best alternative of all the options out there seems crazy. The conspiracy side of me says that Hillary realizes she lost b/c of lack of experience. Here is a BIG way for her to boost her resume for another run. Maybe even get that elusive Mid East peace agreement that her husband tried so hard to get as the clock ran out on him! Ok.. just fun thoughts.. BUT.. as for an administrator, I will say Obama has impressed me so far. I just wish he would get rid of that stupid "Office of the President Elect" sign.. it boarders on a high school looking prop.


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