So far so good, I’d say, with some exceptions:
Rahm Emanuel: I cannot think of a better person for the position of chief of staff, given his reputation as someone who “takes no prisoners.” He has been involved in politics for some twenty three years, from political staffer to Congressional Representative from the state of Illinois. Besides his experience, his no-nonsense attitude is much needed to keep President Obama’s staff on task, with regard to seeing his agenda through.
Bill Richardson: This one I’m not terribly sure about. Bill Richardson has had ample experience in federal office, as a representative, and as a member of Bill Clinton’s Cabinet as Secretary of Energy. However, I’m not certain much in his years of political experience has set him up to serve as Commerce Secretary. I could be wrong, the man did serve as U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., so that in itself may have given him some understanding of the state of foreign commerce. His tenure as Governor of New Mexico, too, lends itself to some understanding of domestic commerce. Who knows.
Janet Napolitano: I feel like she would have been better for Secretary of Education than Homeland Security, given her accomplishments as Governor of Arizona. Her nickname was the “Education Governor,” so I’m curious why Obama tapped her for Homeland Security, of all things. I would rather have someone like, I dunno, Wesley Clark or someone with at least some experience in that realm. Nonetheless, she could surprise me.
Tim Geithner: This one was a solid pick, I have no complaints. He served as 9th President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. I think that speaks for itself.
Larry Summers: Good pick, but I think many of the women in the country may have simultaneously shuddered at the announcement that he was going to be head of the National Economic Council. Gaffes aside, he was Clinton’s Treasury Secretary, and I think he’ll be fine in this position.
And then of course, best for last:
Hillary Clinton: I’m wonderfully conflicted about this one, which I know is not “confirmed” yet, but looks highly likely. On one hand, she has solid foreign policy experience (minus that little thing called the Iraq War). For better or worse, by appointing this Clinton, you get the other Clinton as part of the package and he is still an active (not to mention mostly beloved) presence in most of the world, so that in itself could be a benefit to the Obama administration. On the other hand, I would have rather seen her in another role, like head of the Department of Health and Human Services, given her strong support for universal healthcare.
More analysis to come as the appointments roll in.