Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Transition to governing

Now that we can check off the election step of the process, we can move on to what for me are the interesting stages of gaining a new president. Yes, we will also have more mindless celebration for the actual innauguration, but mostly we will be getting into the real "meat" of building a new administration.

The dense but still vague and sometimes overly-specific policy statements and campaign promises will probably wither on the vine in the face of reality, as they should, and be superceded and transcended by specific initiatives, many of which need to take root in Congress before they can effectively be pushed by the White House.

I am looking forward to the following:

  1. Naming of the transition team
  2. Naming of the cabinet, and whether it will be a strict "new broom" approach or whether some "retreads" from the Clinton years might sneak in as well
  3. Stating of principles that will be guiding policy rather than simply the mindless details
  4. Formulation and execution of the next fiscal stimulus package, before the innauguration
  5. Revised plan for finishing the cleanup of the mortgage mess, part to be put into effect post-innauguration, part negotiated with the current Congress and administration
  6. Statement of intentions and goals for the first 100 days
  7. Preliminary thoughts on a new architecture for regulating banking, finance, and investment
  8. Preliminary thoughts on a radical improvement in energy policy, especially alternative energy sources, investment, and creation of new jobs
  9. Preliminary thoughts on reinvigorating the middle class - a simple tax cut is a gimmick
  10. Preliminary thoughts on what exactly the role of government is in assuring the rapid creation of the next 10 million jobs and accelerating the transition from "old economy" to "new economy" jobs
  11. Preliminary thoughts on the respective roles of the public and private sector - in other words, do we need more socialism or not? Will government and government involvement need to grow dramatically?
  12. Preliminary thoughts on transitioning away from the Neoconservative "war on terror"
  13. Preliminary thoughts on how to make a real dent in health care
  14. Initial policy "priorities" and how they will evolve as costs and benefits and needs evolve

That is just a hint of the huge amount of work that is needed for a new administration to hit the ground running and to instill a sense of credibility for carrying through the vision espoused during the campaign.

To me, this is the "fun" stuff.

Sure, Barack Obama will also give plenty of rousing speeches, but 99% of the work will not be about speeches.

-- Jack Krupansky


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