So, I want to start a little feature here: Greatness Watch: Barack Obama
Now of course, this is going to be a tad bias, but it will be to keep Obama honest, track his words and discuss his decisions.
This week? It seems Barack Obama is looking at Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State. Talk about Team of Rivals. But looking at who else he is eying for seats at his cabinet table, it only becomes more Team of Rivals like. Keeping Robert Gates? Chuck Hagel, Colin Powell, and even John McCain? This is just crazy enough to work.
And then Obama sent former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Republican Congressman Jim Leach to be his eyes and ears (perhaps his voice) at this weekend's G-20 meeting. One a student of the world, the other a leading voice in banking. One a longtime Democrat, the other a moderate Republican.
And it seems he is (so far) balancing Washington experience with outsider change. And, in my one criticism of Obama (which I will get to shortly) for stocking up on too many Clintonites, putting Hillary in the Cabinet would be a very un-Clintonian move. And looking at a few more people even mentioned, I would have to agree with Slate about the need for a real Cabinet of Equals* to really take on a very weak, trouble nation.
As for Hillary, I was always a big fan of Bill Richardson for SOS, but as I listen to more views on the idea, I have become a big fan of Clinton as SOS. From Maureen Dowd to Henry Kissinger, Sen. Jon Kyl, and California's own Govanator Arnold Schwarzenegger, people are agreeing that it would be a good idea. So, you make everyone happy: Obama people (solved Clinton problem), Clinton people (Obama respects her, finally!), Republicans (she ran with a center-right foreign policy), and Democrats (finally healing intra-party wounds).
Now, about Obama posting too many Clintonites to his administration. His is gonna just be Bill Clinton's 3rd term? No. But could those Clintonian voices hold him back from really doing what he promised in the campaign? Hell yes. I give you Rachel Maddow:
But after thinking about it, I have to trust Obama. Over the course of the campaign and this transition I have thought and said several things I wanted Obama to do. Almost 90% of the time (a lot of the time, I'm just making up the figure) within 1-14 days later, he would do it. And the other 10% (again, pulling these %s out of my ass) when he didn't, things later came to light that showed a much better path, which he had taken. So I have learned he knows what he's doing. Not to say he won't make mistakes or have missteps, but he has shown he knows how to get through them. So far, he has a great track record of making smart moves. Now it is a matter of turning smart campaign moves and ideas into smart governing moves and ideas.
Which, as of yesterday, he is well on his way to doing.
"For the first time, the weekly Democratic address has been released as a web video. It will also continue to air on the radio.
President-elect Obama plans to publish these weekly updates through the Transition and then from the White House."
Well done Mr. President-Elect. Well done. Now all you have to do is continue being perfect and make your own place in history. My guess is you will make it look easy. We shall see. And I'll be here every Sunday to keep watch.
* Cabinet of Equals is what I'm gonna call this group (if it pans out) until it actually gets a name. I like Cabinet of Equals. Slate liked The Genius Cabinet.