Articles

Now Obama Has to Govern

November 19, 2008

Presidential transitions can be problematic. The candidate is utterly exhausted. Supporters have unattainable expectations and unrealistic personal hopes. The ease of making campaign pledges has given way to the obstinate process of legislating them. And Barack Obama is the first president-elect since Richard Nixon without executive experience. What are some of his transition challenges so far?

One of Mr. Obama's first decisions was to make Rahm Emanuel his chief of staff. This smart, aggressive Chicago pol may turn out to be a wise pick. But first he must decide what his role is. Will he be the opinionated enforcer who ran the Clinton White House political office? Or will Mr. Emanuel fashion himself into a more traditional chief of staff?

The phrase former chiefs, Republican and Democrat, seem to prize is "honest broker." President Ronald Reagan's chief, James A. Baker III, once cautioned, "Don't use the process to impose your policy views." Effective chiefs of staff don't short circuit the decision-making process. Instead, they strive to impartially present the views of others and become a trusted channel of communication to the president for leaders on both sides of the aisle.

Being an impartial manager who constructively encourages individuals to marshal data, strengthen arguments and shape options is hard for anyone. It will be particularly hard for a combative advocate like Mr. Emanuel. His success may depend on his ability to submerge lifetime habits and offer his opinion sparingly.

FULL ARTICLE: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122714421493443077.html

Related Article

098c6b8dea719a1e88fc7129146adb5d
January 18, 2018 |
Article
In a Wall Street Journal interview last week, President Trump said if he were to “terminate” the North American Free Trade Agreement, it “would be frankly a positive for our country.” ...
F9a7d41d2a83d7d4b789adfd11f0e9bc
January 11, 2018 |
Article
Long before the presidential election, the populist candidate’s mental state was under attack. The New York Times ran a series over several days suggesting he was unfit for office. ...
7d32cd4afe265ae7d7cf7f666b4a00f0
January 04, 2018 |
Article
Batting .633 in baseball is terrific, but merely adequate in the forecasting game. On Jan. 4 of last year, I made 30 predictions for 2017. Nineteen were correct. A gimme: President Trump tweeted often (more than 2,300 times).  ...
Db0fe3fee0fc466635a832743dc13e33
December 28, 2017 |
Article
As the year’s remaining days dwindle away, let us remember some who left this life in 2017. Michael Novak was a kind, brilliant Catholic philosopher whose majestic 1982 book, “The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism,” made a powerful case that free men and...
Button karlsbooks
Button readinglist
Button nextapperance