Thursday, February 12, 2009

And The Trainwreck Continues

Gregg withdraws nomination as commerce secretary

I swear I'm not saying this with glee. You won't believe me but it's the honest to God truth. Yeah, I didn't vote for him. No, I can't imagine voting for him next time around. Still, this isn't about that.

What it's about is the surprising sloppiness of the Obama assumption of power. He bungled the stimulus, leaving it largely to Reid and Pelosi. He bungled the second phase of the bank bailout by letting Geitner go out there and say essentially nothing at a moment when the markets are craving specificity and confidence. He has bungled numerous cabinet nominees.

What is so surprising about all of this is that even Obama's opponents have given him a great deal of credit for intelligence and for discipline. The opening weeks of the administration have not justified that belief.

Now, I recongize that most Administrations go through a rough patch at the beginning. Bill Clinton certainly did. I don't recall Dubya's as being particularly chaotic, but I may just have been more generous to him. Still, I think it's both surprising and disappointing that Obama is doing as badly as he is. I mean, he was the presumptive winner for a month or more prior to the election so he had time to plan. That's what makes all of this surprising.

What makes it disappointing is that it is precisely the wrong time for this sort of thing. What we need is confidence and competence. To date, we have gotten neither.

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