This is going to be a most interesting year to watch. Barack Obama has been quite clear that he intends to accomplish things by working both sides of the aisle. That’s going to be quite a challenge, with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Harry Reid on his team. It appears that their main interest is not effective government, but effective competition with the Republicans. Working with the opposition means sharing the credit with them, and while Obama is ready to do that, I am sure, I doubt that Pelosi and Reid are ready to adopt that concept. They may not even understand it. I would like to be a fly on the wall when Obama discusses his goals, plans, and tactics with them.
I listened to a Union Tribune editorial writer at lunch today, and I asked him if he thought Obama was capable of cooling the partisanship that pervades Congress. His answer surprised me. He felt that the Democrats in Congresss would wind up in two camps, the Pelosi/Reid camp and the Obama camp, and that it would be the Obama camp working across the aisle. Of course the size of each camp, will be a crucial factor in how that works out.
It looks like Obama, on the day after his election, is getting a running start. He’s indicated his choice for Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, and named his Transition Team, headed by John Podesta, with Pete Rouse and Valerie Jarrett.
A running start is good.
If Rahm Emanuel, who was the inspiration for Josh Lyman’s character as Deputy Chief of Staff on West Wing, is as effective as the character. we will have a good running start.