Looking for signs that our new president has "got this"? Marc Ambinder reports that, after only one week since Election Day, observors are already in awe of the Obama trasnition in progress.
Democrats who survived the transition from George H.W. Bush to William Jefferson Clinton are a bit in awe these days of what Barack Obama is doing and how he is doing it.
Of the Clinton transition, one very senior and longtime Clinton adviser said: "No one would have imagined how quickly it all got screwed up."
In 1992, the only Democrats who had run the White House in the past quarter century had worked for Jimmy Carter -- and Carter's tenure didn't exactly inspire confidence. Clinton had James Carville -- the most brilliant Democratic strategist at the time, and he had a lot of young guns. But he did not have a John Podesta to walk him through what it took to ran the White House, and certainly not a Rahm Emanuel.
I was so giddy after the 1992 election, that I did not pa attention to the Clinton transition and I did not know much about how it works well and how it does not. Obama has the benefit of hindsight, but it is remarkable how little accurate information has been leaked. I also think it was a smart move to stick to the "one president at a time" theme and avoid buying into whatever last minute screw-ups Bush may get us into.
On a personal note, I know a good number of die-hard Hillary-supporting PUMA's in San Francisco who've been waiting for Obama to fall flat on his face. First, they smugly predicted, when McCain took the lead in September, that Palin was a superstar and would help the Republicans blow away Obama. Then, as recently as three weeks ago they predicted that he would still do worse than John Kerry in the Electoral College. When he won by a landslide, they got grumpy. Now they are saying that his administration will fail at every turn. But if the transitin is any indication, they will be in for a miserable four years. Now it's my turn to be smug.
Don't worry, he's got this. ;-)