Monday, November 24, 2008

Tough Team Needed For Obama's Big Jolt

People who complain about Barack Obama picking experienced insiders rather than political newbies can't be serious about change. It's not that he has moved "center-right", but that he is getting ready for the Big Bang, the Big Jolt!

If Obama were interested in mainly posing as a radical president, he could very well have started to stuff his coming cabinet with ideological lefties, but such an Obama administration would hardly have survived half it's political honeymoon. There will be missteps, but if you assemble an inexperienced team in a time of crisis, and then launch a program of radical change, you are setting yourself up for failure.

Instead, Obama is picking out a team that instills confidence even among his political enemies, and makes the conservative columnist in New York Times, David Brooks, burst out that "I find myself tremendously impressed by the Obama transition".

"Obama seems to have dispensed with the romantic and failed notion that you need inexperienced 'fresh faces' to change things. After all, it was L.B.J. who passed the Civil Rights Act. Moreover, because he is so young, Obama is not bringing along an insular coterie of lifelong aides who depend upon him for their well-being.

As a result, the team he has announced so far is more impressive than any other in recent memory. One may not agree with them on everything or even most things, but a few things are indisputably true.
First, these are open-minded (.........)
Second, they are admired professionals. (....)
Third, they are not excessively partisan. (....)
Fourth, they are not ideological. (....)
Finally, there are many people on this team with practical creativity. (....)

Believe me, I’m trying not to join in the vast, heaving O-phoria now sweeping the coastal haute bourgeoisie. But the personnel decisions have been superb. The events of the past two weeks should be reassuring to anybody who feared that Obama would veer to the left or would suffer self-inflicted wounds because of his inexperience. He’s off to a start that nearly justifies the hype."

The team he is putting together is a team that can handle the Big Jolt necessary to jump start the American economy and lead the world economy out of the recession, and out of the disastrous Bush/Cheney Era.

"We need a clear break," Austan Goolsbee, one of Obama's top economic advisors told CNBC, CNN and MSNBC on Monday morning, in advance of the President-elect's announcement of his economic team, which is expected around noon today.

Goolsbee made clear that the new president will "come in with a bang... a one-two punch" in terms of a huge economic rescue package, which some experts believe could reach a trillion dollars if not more. Obama will cut taxes for most Americans, investment in the country's collapsing infrastructure, as well as in schools and green energy, just the kind of investments that can create jobs and raise the economy's efficiency over time, as well as make the U.S. more independent of foreign oil and make a contribution to fighting global warming.

Getting an experienced team in place does not mean sacrificing "change". Having Barack Obama in place as the "decidererer" means that change reached the top. The rest is execution, and it better be executed well, or we are heading further down the slope.

Hans Sandberg

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