A friend recently emailed:
I am really disappointed w/Obama. The joint is a mess w/NO staff to deal w/issues and more and more having problems w/tax issues. What is WRONG w/those people? I bought in to the idea that they knew what they were doing.
Not to say the alternative was better. McCain would have been done in by Palin by now…or he’d just be napping. BUT what is WRONG w/the new team?
I too am a bit disappointed but 6 months ago the current financial meltdown was barely becoming visible. The tax issues are embarrassing but generally not substantive, not any more than the nanny tax issues were 12 years ago. If Obama’s original choice for OPM had not withdrawn over a paltry amount, it would not have been necessary for Daschle to cave. (His problems were of perception blindness in an era when accepting freebies was not as big a deal as it is now that bank CEOs have to travel at the back of the bus.)
Right now good candidates with solid incomes are afraid to risk federal employment at ridiculously low salaries without knowing what they can come back to. And as to finding good people to handle the financial meltdown, the problem is no one really knows what to do so it is hard to find people willing to risk their necks.
Let’s see where we are in 6 months. 12 years ago Clinton had barely started to nominate his cabinet, caved in on good choices over the nanny tax or forthright candidates (e.g. Lannie Guenier) and he wasted his first term failing to appoint judges for many vacancies and lost the opportunity when the Republicans took over the Senate in 94.
Obama is way ahead under impossible circumstances.
[Just think, a year ago I was sorry that a third of my assets were in cash and now, thanks to the economy, they have climbed to 50%.)