Yes, the Obama administration is ahead of the confirmation pace of previous administrations, but it should be. Changes in law and the energetic cooperation of the Bush White House made it easier for Team Obama to get its people in place quicker than any administration in history. There have, however, been many more fumbles than should have occurred. These have generated bad headlines and a slower-than-promised pace in filling the government. For that, the Obama White House has only itself to blame.
The vetting process has been poorly executed and consistently sloppy. Were potential nominees asked the catch-all question all recent administrations have asked about anything in a nominee's background that could embarrass the president-elect? Or did this administration simply have an overabundance of office seekers with unpaid taxes or ongoing federal investigations? The White House that hired the Democratic Party's best opposition researcher to work in the Counsel's Office apparently didn't subject its own nominees to the same level of scrutiny it intends to provide its adversaries.