"The Dream Team" II

So far Barack Obama's steps to build his cabinet have been nothing short of the Barcelona Olympics US basketball Dream Team. Is he the Michael Jordan of leadership? For all of ours sake I hope he is. The only true answer to that question is that it is too early to tell but the first steps were nothing short of brilliant.

Larry Summers at the White House and Geithner at the Treasury were exactly the right moves. Summers will be much better out of the limelight and pulling at more levers, while Geithner at the Treasury is just the right technocrat (and is 47, as is Obama, as is your truly, which I like to point out).

To get two Clinton's, and it is the two Clinton's that he is getting, is the ultimate twofer. It says a lot about his ability and that of the people around him to smooth over ruffled feathers. However, the more important thing is that they are perfect for the job - they will be the face of America to the world and one could hardly find two Americans that the world likes more, or at least dislikes less (since unlike in the US, Hillary does not have a group of pretty determined "haters" outside of the US).

Richardson at Commerce, keeping Gates in place at Defense (which means no major immediate changes for strategies of General Petraeus and others) are again right down the middle of the leadership fairway.

Expectations of the Obama presidency are so high that the second coming could not meet them. How far short it falls of the unrealistic expectations driven in part by the euphoria of the special moment which we will years from now ask about - "where were you when Obama was elected President?" - hugely depends on who he puts around him.

So far not just so good, so far brilliant.

P.S. All of this from somebody whose guy did not win.

LATE ADDITION - Headline from a WSJ Op-ed piece "Not Left or Right, Forward"


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