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

5d695f163e28231d1a57cd70783ece56
April 19, 2018 |
Article
Barbara Bush had passed at age 92.The sad news came Tuesday while I was on my way to dinner with a friend. A noble life of purpose had ended.  ...
424f65ce5485ed475830b7f8cb1bed34
April 12, 2018 |
Article
Speaker Paul Ryan’s announcement Wednesday that he will not seek re-election is bad news for Republicans, Congress and America’s political culture.  ...
042e935484282d1ce2044960e2225a66
April 05, 2018 |
Article
Americans have wrestled in recent years with whether monuments honoring Confederate leaders such as Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis are appropriate. I’m sympathetic to those, like New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who have concluded some monuments shoul...
9ffcb95d09da0d0a8b4ae86ef9e11f8e
March 29, 2018 |
Article
I recently received a dossier concerning an emergency meeting by some of America’s trading partners at the Illuminati headquarters in Venice. The document came to me by sources and methods of intelligence I’m not at liberty to share. ...
Button karlsbooks
Button readinglist
Button nextapperance