Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Coming of a Can-Do Government

In the wreckage of this week's news, it's encouraging to watch the Obama Administration taking shape with an emphasis on extreme competence (no heck-of-a-job Brownie in the lot).

Today's New York Times describes it as "tilting toward the center, inviting a clash of ideas," but the left-right analysis seems less to the point than the question of getting things done as transition team members "believe that the new administration will have no time for a learning curve."

Starting with the choice of Rahm Emanuel, a can-do guy if there ever was one, the new President clearly intends to surround himself with brains and real-world experience rather than like-mindedness and loyalty.

That was reflected in the leak yesterday about the new Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, a pragmatist with deep experience, whose choice sent the stock market into euphoria. As America's face to the financial world, he will represent steady resolve compared to former Treasury chief Lawrence Summers, a bombastic figure Obama considered putting back into the job, who will likely end up in the White House as a senior economic adviser.

After such choices as the new Attorney General Eric Holder, Peter Orszag as Budget Director and Greg Craig as White House Counsel, conservative David Brooks calls the new Obama team "more impressive than any other in recent individuals who are persuadable by evidence...admired professionals" who are "not excessively partisan" and "not ideological."

How does Hillary Clinton fit into this picture? She certainly would not blend into the Obama woodwork, but there is something more at stake in her choice as Secretary of State. For those who have become unsure about American values, she would make the Bush-Cheney worldview look like the aberration it has been and reassure continuity of our good intentions and good sense.

As with all of Obama's other choices, personal loyalty would be beside the point.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Let us have FAITH that We the People will rise from the ashes! -Joe